Rwanda ranks favourably in clean energy study

Among the growth factors on Rwanda’s clean energy scene is the growing off-grid market through options such as Solar which the report’s authors say is way ahead of many countries in the continent. Nadege Imbabazi.

Rwanda has been ranked fifth globally in a Bloomberg study on clean energy, dubbed Climatescope.

The study is a public resource intended to help developers and investors screen opportunities, policy-makers understand policy frameworks around the globe, and researchers access timely but difficult to collect data.

Rwanda improved 11 places compared to the 2017 edition of the study.

Among the growth factors in Rwanda’s clean energy scene is the growing off-grid market which the report’s authors say is way ahead of many countries in the continent.

The study took into account aspects such as the over 300,000 solar lanterns which have propelled the country towards the 48 per cent off-grid electrification ambitions by 2024.

“Through 2017, over 185,000 solar home systems and nearly 300,000 solar lanterns have been distributed throughout the country. The national utility, Rwanda Energy Group, has been cooperative in establishing demarcation zones, specifically allocated for off-grid development, in order to help the country work towards a 48 per cent off-grid electrification rate by 2024,” the report reads in part.

The study also took into account recent strides over the last 7 years which has quadrupled electrification rate in the country.

“Despite being one of the smallest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Rwanda’s electrification rate has quadrupled in the past seven years, from 10 per cent in 2010 to 44 per cent in 2017. The Ministry of Infrastructure has set an ambitious 100 per cent electrification target by 2024, and has drafted a National Electrification Plan to help on-grid and off-grid players in reaching this goal,” the report adds.

The report also notes that surging electricity demand, sinking technology costs, and innovative policy-making have allowed developing nations to seize the mantle of global clean energy leadership from wealthier countries.

Emerging market nations surveyed by Climatescope accounted for the majorities of new clean energy capacity added and new funds deployed, globally in 2017.

These emerging economies countries are also playing the leading role in driving down clean energy costs, so that energy access can be expanded without boosting CO2 emissions.

This shift is being driven by the rapidly improving economics of clean energy technologies, most notably wind and solar.

Thanks to exceptional natural resources in many developing countries and dramatically lower equipment costs, new renewable projects now regularly outcompete new fossil plants on price – without the benefit of subsidies.

Development banks, export credit agencies, and other traditional backers of projects in emerging markets continue to play an important role in the clean energy build-out. But private players, most notably international utility companies, are now among the top investors as well.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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