A collaboration between the Rwandan power utility, Energy Development Corporation Ltd (EDCL) and a local solar power firm, Ignite Power, connects hundreds of villagers to off-grid power.
The beneficiaries consist of 500 villagers from Nyagatare District, while 60 are from Rwamagana District.
In an exclusive interview with Business Times, Yariv Cohen, the director of Ignite Power, highlighted that off-grid energy solutions is key for Rwanda to achieve its energy goals and ensure sustainable development.
Government is planning to increase off-grid power generation to 22MW by 2018, up from 8.75MW presently.
While overseeing the power connections, Cohen said the country has the potential to create smart villages, reduce poverty and fast-track inclusive growth through off-grid solutions. Read more...
He noted transparency and a conducive business environment are crucial to attract more investors into the energy sector, particularly off-grid solutions.
The managing director of EDCL, Emmanuel Kamanzi, told the New Times that the corporation is working with renewable energy companies to help avail Rwandans off-grid electricity.
"With the national target of increasing off-grid electricity to 22% of the citizens, EDCL works with 24 solar companies to avail electricity in remote villages that cannot easily be connected on the grid," Kamanzi said.
He called upon Rwandans to embrace off-grid electricity, saying it is affordable and appropriate for small consumers.
"It's not a 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," he said. Read more...
According to media, Nyagatare District mayor George Mupenzi said they are working with EDCL to ensure all residents access power.
Mupenzi said the collaboration has helped increase power access for both on-grid and off-grid sources.
On a national level, government is targeting to increase access to electricity from the current 25% to 70% by 2018.
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