16 September 2017, Kigali — Rwanda has approved extra financing for energy projects in a resolve to close gaps in power generation, that the country has been working on with multiple efforts; reports KTPress
To meet these targets, the cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Tuesday approved loans and grants worth over $51 million to fund three major renewable energy projects.
The current generation capacity is 208MW and the country targets to increase to 563MW of electricity before the end of next year and connect 70% of Rwanda’s households to electricity.
Rwanda is a recipient of World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) credit worth $27.5 million – with a target to fund projects to increase electricity access in Rwanda through off-grid technologies that facilitate private-sector participation in renewable off-grid electrification.
In July this year, Finance Ministry and World Bank engaged in a new deal worth over $50 million to fund more Renewable Energy project as part of increasing access to electricity in rural areas.
Under the new deal, an extra 1.5 million Rwandan homes will get connected to electricity before the end of 2018.
As part of the Rural Electrification Strategy introduced last year, the Renewable Energy Fund Project (REFP) will provide 445,500 new off-grid connections giving about 1.8 million homes access to off-grid electricity by the end of 2018.
The cabinet meeting on Tuesday approved a loan agreement with the African Development Fund (ADF) worth 2.2 million Units of Account (UA) to scale up Energy Access project.
The cabinet also approved a 21.4million grant for Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund Project and $87.6 million ‘Special Drawing Rights’ (approximately $125 million) for priority skills.
With additional loans and signings, the government wants to clear the issue of energy once and for all.
Meanwhile, Rwanda is yet to release results from a four-year research that could see the country start drilling geothermal energy in the Western province.
The research conducted consists of studying geology, hot springs and geophysics to find out whether there is hot water underneath that can be drilled for power generation purposes.
*Peter Mugabo – News of Rwanda