Power consumption in Rwanda low

Rwanda electricity power sales have been growing at about 7 per cent yearly on average since 1997.

Rwanda electricity power sales have been growing at about 7 per cent yearly on average since 1997.

But State Minister for Energy and Communications Eng.

Albert Butare says the per capita electricity consumption in the country is among the lowest in the world.

Currently only 6 per cent of the households having access to energy are in urban areas.

And, Kigali alone accounts for nearly 2 thirds of total electricity consumption in the country.

Records indicate, most Rwandans use wood fuel. According to the energy ministry report, wood fuel, charcoal and agricultural residues account for 92 per cent of the total primary energy supply.

“This is likely to remain so in the near or even medium term future, since the substitutes, imported petroleum fuels or grid electricity is beyond the reach of most households,” said Butare.

Even in the urban areas such as Kigali with access to petroleum fuels and electricity, the households rely on charcoal for their thermal energy needs.

“Rwanda is like other developing countries where wood fuels generally dominate in energy consumption,” Butare explained.

To interest many Rwandans use electric power, John Mirenge, the managing director Electrogaz said they are planning to cut power tariffs.

Currently power tariffs are 112/kwh. However; he could not disclose by how much he would reduce the prices.

However was reported to have said the country hydro electricity capacity production is not enough.

And to mitigate, Mirenge says government is to exploit the thermo, methane gas, biogas and geothermal electricity potentials in the country.

The country partly suffers power shortage due to the decline of water levels in Lake Burera where the country generates hydro electricity.

In 2004, the water dropped by 4.5 metres.

But Electrogaz water engineers say the lake has risen by 3 metres.

Other source of energy the country wants to implement include, the methane gas project, national domestic biogas programme to distribute 15,000 domestic bio-digesters by 2011 has started.

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