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rural electrification
Renewable Energy  
15 August 2017

Home solar products enabling Rwanda’s off-grid plan

Rwandan-based energy company, Ignite Power, is confident to have been able to change the energy paradigm in Africa as it is offering a price plan for home solar products.

Ignite's chief executive, Yariv Cohen, said: "We [have] completed phase 2 of 'Ignite Rwanda' project. With a network of 1,600 installers, operational efficiencies and economies of scale, we can make home solar more affordable than ever before.

"The launch marks the commencement of phase 3, on track to achieve our goal of 100% Clean Access."

In recent years, the price of solar has been dropping. Solar home systems in Africa, however, have not followed suit, mainly because international companies found it difficult to reach scale and secure local financing, the company said.

Affordable home solar products

The company’s chief information officer, Angela Homsi, said: "We are excited that local commercial capital is mobilising towards the solar home sector. This indicates we are moving from niche financing to mainstream capital.

"We expect this to continue, lower the cost of capital further and enable us to provide even more value to our clients."

The press release claims that in less than a year, the company became the largest rural utility in Rwanda.

The solar power firm achieved this milestone through its collaboration with Rwandan power utility, Energy Development Corporation Ltd (EDCL) to connect hundreds of villagers to off-grid power.

So far beneficiaries consist of villagers from Nyagatare and Rwamagana Districts.

Off-grid power generation

The Rwandan government has set plans to increase off-grid power generation to 22MW by 2018, up from the current 8.75MW.

The managing director of EDCL, Emmanuel Kamanzi, has said that the power utility is working with 24 solar companies to avail electricity in remote villages that cannot easily be connected on the grid. Read more...

"It's not mandatory that electricity must be from the grid. We would like to have many homes using off-grid electricity instead of waiting for grid extensions," Kamanzi said.

 

Featured image: Stock

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