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Energy Transitions: Rwandan Journey to Green Energy

by Fidele Nyandwi | 12-09-2023 21:16 recommendations 0

The earth undergoes the problem of climate change that is caused by the use of non-environmental friendly energies. In the past three decades, Rwandans relied on fossil fuels as their first energy source. For example, over two-thirds of the population consumed wood as an energy source due to underdevelopment. Because wood emits a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing global warming, in 2011, Rwanda developed Rwanda's Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy to reduce about 4.5 million tonnes of wood per year. Rwanda developed that strategy because wood contributed to deforestation and economic underdevelopment as people invested much money in buying wood, triggering irresistible poverty among Rwandans. Since Rwanda is still developing, it needs to cut off the use of wood to a hundred per cent. Still, Rwanda introduced different methods to regulate the use of firewood. For instance, Rwanda has invested in energy-efficient stoves that reduced household fuel consumption by at least 50%, and those stoves benefited houses in financial matters and health issues. As an epitome, those stoves reduced in-house smoke by beyond 70% (Energy Security | Rwanda Water Portal, n.d.).

In addition, Rwanda is dedicated to restoring over 2 million hectares of degraded land and vegetation, especially forests, by 2020. It has a vision to enhance the forest landscape cover by at least 30%. All these goals aim to compensate for energy sources lost by employing firewood and contributing to carbon emission reductions. The most intriguing fact is that Rwanda has, over time, been investing in green energy sources by promoting renewable and clean energy sources. 

Today, Rwanda relies the most on hydro-power as an outstanding energy source needed by industries and households. In Rwanda, aridity means that rivers do not generate power. That is because Rwandan rivers contribute on a large scale to produce much energy consumed in Rwanda. A promising point is that Rwandan rivers have potential generation sites of about 333 nationwide. The Rwanda Energy Group says, "The overall potential is approximated to be around 400 MW with a current installed hydro capacity of 98.5 MW" (Energy Security | Rwanda Water Portal, n.d.). This has helped reduce consumption of non-renewable energy sources in the country and has increased energy security. It has been uneasy for Rwandans to access electricity. However, the reliability has improved: The average number of power interruptions per year has reduced to 91.7 and the average number of hours without power to 14.2" (Infrastructure, 2018). In addition, Rwanda endeavours to increase electricity capacity between 282 MW and 376 MW by 2024.

Further, to advocate for green energy: Not only does Rwanda depend on hydro-power, but since 2014, Rwanda has also developed energy efficiency programs, including Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), SolaRwanda Solar Water Heaters (SWH), Street Lighting, and Loss Reduction. 

Under the Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), Rwanda Energy Group supplied over 800,000 CFLs of bulbs between 2007 and 2014. This minimized the annual energy demand of 54 GWh and $11 million in consumer savings (Infrastructure, 2018).

In addition, around the SWH, Rwanda envisions reducing electricity use for water heating. That electricity should be reserved for further use as long as solar energy heats water at intended levels. So, to support such an initiative, Rwanda installed over 2 256 Solar Water Heaters. So, all these mechanisms were implemented to secure energy sources. Also, "Kigali City introduced the project of the Street Light to replace high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps with LEDs in street lights" ((Infrastructure, 2018). The aim of that project was also to reduce power consumption to the extent of 60%. Rwanda Energy Group is uplifting energy efficiency by reducing the current 20% network losses as if that was not enough. It is declared that improvement in energy efficiency will minimize the use of polluting and expensive diesel generators.

In conclusion, as referenced above, Rwanda has achieved an outstanding role in promoting green energy and security. Rwanda envisions transitioning to zero emissions because it has started employing electric cars to avoid further emissions. So, together, we can achieve the net zero.

Work Cited

Infrastructure, R. M. O. (2018). Energy Sector Strategic Plan, 2018/19 - 2023/24.

Energy security | Rwanda Water Portal. (n.d.). https://waterportal.rwb.rw/toolbox/470

The picture indicates a type of stoves developed to reduce smoke emissions and firewood consumption in Rwanda.This picture depicts solar energy capture in Rwanda, it produces over 8.5 MW


  • Rwanda E-gen Ambassador Fidele Nyandwi
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Fidele Nyandwi

  • Fidele Nyandwi says :
    Thank you all for your courage and motivation

    Posted 16-10-2023 23:31

SangHyeon Park

  • SangHyeon Park says :
    Hello, I'm mentor Sanghyeon.
    It's a good article about Rwanda's increasing energy usage efficiency and expanding the share of renewable energy. In addition, the policy for environmental conservation will serve as a great model for other countries.
    Thank you for the good article.
    Posted 28-09-2023 22:01

Emmanuel  Dassah

Emmanuel  Dassah

Godfred Owusu Bempah

  • Godfred Owusu Bempah says :
    Can I get your email so we communicate there and explain the article further is nice I want to hear more about it.
    Posted 15-09-2023 16:27

Godfred Owusu Bempah

  • Godfred Owusu Bempah says :
    Nice educative article on energy in Rwanda I look forward to reading more exciting articles from you.
    Posted 15-09-2023 05:46

Seeun Mentor

  • Seeun Mentor says :
    Hi, this is mentor Seeun!
    Net zero is something we must all strive to achieve. It's great to know how much Rwanda has achieved so far! Let's all work together, and hope for a better future.
    Thank you for your report and good luck on your next one!
    Posted 13-09-2023 11:06

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