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The Rwanda Energy Group is targeting to increase power output to at least 563MW by 2018 from the current capacity of 190MW and connect about 70% of households by 2020.

In East Africa, the chief executive officer at the Rwanda Energy Group (REG), Jean Bosco Mugiraneza, has stated that the utility seeks to upsurge power distribution and supply, as well as increase efficiency to meet increasing demand for electricity in the country, reports The New Times.

It is reported that last year, government announced it would invest about $3 billion in the sector, while the private sector is expected to inject an estimated $1.3 billion.

However, according to the media, for Rwanda to realise its plans, energy experts have urged for some changes in the country’s regulatory policies.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) assistant secretary general, Dr Kipyego Cheluget, said the country requires a systematic analysis of possible strategies that would help meet its energy needs.

Regional co-operation essential

Cheluget also called on the East Africa region to ensure of energy efficiency, increase power generation as well as improve transmission infrastructure, media reported.

Media quoted him stating that supporting the development energy infrastructure at national and regional level is equally key for the country’s energy aspirations.

“Rwanda’s energy sector remains attractive to investors, not only because of the policy and regulatory instruments in place, but also the low electricity access levels, of only about 25%, presents a huge opportunity for investment,” he said.

It is reported that Cheluget also highlighted that Rwanda has competitive electricity tariffs, ranging from $16 to 22 cents/kWh.

Rwanda needs to improve regulation

Meanwhile, another energy expert Daniel-Alexander Schroth, who is the SE4all Africa hub co-ordinator, said infrastructure projects require huge resources, which governments alone may not afford “hence the need for strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors.”

Schroth noted: “For economies like Rwanda to generate sufficient power, they need to promote conducive and stable policy and regulatory provisions to attract investment.”

Currently, hydropower is said to account for 97.37MW of the country’s total installed capacity, thermal stands at 51.7MW, methane accounts for 3.6MW, while 8.75MW is produced from solar energy.