In East Africa, state-run power company, the Rwanda Energy Group (REG) has expressed confidence that there are “quite a number of projects in the pipeline” that will enable it to meet government’s set target of 70% electricity connectivity by 2018.
REG chief executive Jean-Bosco Mugiraneza told local media that government is working on both on-grid and off-grid solutions to achieve the target. This will be divided into 48% on-grid and 22% off-grid.
“We will use both on-grid and off-grid solutions to achieve this target. We are signing many contracts with investors to roll out solar systems in rural areas, and this is really working out,” Mugiraneza said.
He continued: “On-grid generation, we are halfway [to achieving] our target, then off-grid we have to multiply efforts; that’s why we are signing contracts with investors. We are going to engage four investors in addition to two existing ones. The 2018 target is still on, that’s why we have to change strategies and increase efforts to make it feasible.”
Rwanda Energy Group – current energy generation capacity
At present the Rwanda Energy Group is reported to have recorded generation capacity increase of 89,5MW over the last two years, bringing the current total installed capacity to 190MW, with government projecting 563MW power generation in the next two years.
Emmanuel Kamanzi, the managing director of Energy Development Corporation Ltd (EDCL), said electrification targets will be met, but advised that the main focus should rather be on how to match electricity supply with demand.
Kamanzi said: “We need to put infrastructure in place to close the power deficits and increase transmission lines.”
Regional electricity projects
Included among the projects that are said to be in the pipeline, in efforts to enhance both domestic and regional electricity access, are the 220kV Mirama-Shango 93.2km line connecting Rwanda with Uganda, the 220kV Shango-Rubavu-Goma-Karongi 180km line connecting Rwanda with DR Congo, and the 220kV Rusumo-Bugesera-Shango line connecting Rwanda with Burundi.
[quote]According to REG, it is expected that by 2018, the power-exchange project will be possible through the 220kV power transmission infrastructure with all neighbouring countries.
“When you look at the pipeline projects, we are saying that we should even move a bit slower to commit more.
“Because we may sign up as many as we can, you may not be able to consume all the power you have. We need to have supply that meets the demand requirements,” Kamanzi said.