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Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo

Rwanda is a very poor but dynamic country, which is politically stable and open to market-oriented approaches. Rwanda’s energy predominantly comes from biomass. EnDev Rwanda works with the private sector to facilitate the development of micro hydro power (MHPP) plants. Also, EnDev is piloting an intervention for solar lighting and village grids through the implementation of two result-based financing projects for decentralised energy solutions. In addition, it supports several authorities in the country in establishing a suitable regulatory energy framework. Until 2011, EnDev Rwanda was also active in the biogas sector.

Technologies used in this project

  • Biogas
  • Hydro mini-grids
  • Improved cookstoves
  • Stand-alone systems

Country data

  • People with access to electricity: 220,500*
  • People with access to modern cooking energy: 10,500*
  • *Target achievements until December 2019

Approach

EnDev Rwanda is implementing two projects – the PSP Hydro project and a Results-Based Financing programme. Under the PSP Hydro project (Private Sector Participation in Micro-Hydro Power for Rural Development), EnDev Rwanda works with the private sector to facilitate the development of micro hydro power (MHPP) plants. EnDev Rwanda supports private project developers through technical, financial and business advice. In addition, it supports the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and other authorities in establishing a suitable regulatory framework and favourable conditions for such. The project developers are completely responsible for the success of their projects and must contribute at least 15 percent financing of the total costs through their own equity, and may take up a commercial bank loan. EnDev Rwanda contributes a grant of on average 25 percent of the investment cost.

The country project provides business management training for private project developers, further technical support on feasibility studies, construction works, and proper maintenance as well as limited financial support to investment cost. EnDev carries out studies and provides technical advice to government institutions to strengthen the private sector approach. Thanks to these efforts the first three privately operated micro hydro power plants of Rwanda (96-500 kW) are reliably supply electricity to the grid. Four more MHPP projects have received funding commitments and are currently under development.

EnDev Rwanda is also piloting an intervention for solar lighting and village grids through the implementation of two Result-Based Financing (RBF) projects for decentralised energy solutions. This programme is designed to kick-start the development of markets for off-grid renewable energy products. Under the solar lighting component, private sector companies receive a financial incentive for selling solar lamps to customers in rural areas. Under the village grid component, companies receive a financial incentive covering part of their investment costs as well as top-up for every customer successfully connected to a privately run grid powered by renewable energy. The programme is implemented by a Rwandese bank which received trainings on renewable energy and RBF.

Until 2011, EnDev Rwanda supported the biogas sector through the implementation of digesters to supply rural households with biogas for cooking. The target group for the domestic biogas programme were households in rural areas that own cattle in a stable near the homestead. EnDev supported the National Domestic Biogas Programme through technical advice and partial subsidies for such digesters.

Learn more about EnDev´s approach
A Rwandan man is coming out of a small village house with solar panels on top while children are playing in a tree.
Powerhouse of a mini-grid. Credit: Razvan Sandru.

Further information

For more information on the energy situation in Rwanda see energypedia.

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