Over 20,000 households will be connected to the national grid within the next six months, officials at the Ministry of Infrastructure have said. According to a statement from the Ministry, 23,197 households will benefit from the government initiative by end of June 2015.
The initiative is in line with the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) target of 70% countrywide access to electricity by 2018.
According to the ministry, there are ongoing projects expected to fast track these initiatives.
These include; Byimana, Shyogwe, Mbuye, Kinihira in Ruhango and Muhanga Districts, the construction of a transmission line between Nyarusange, Mwendo, Mushishiro, Busasamana, Ngororero and Mukingo (Remera Sector) in Musanze District among others.
According to the ministry, by the end June 2015, the length of domestic transmission and distribution networks will have increased from the current cumulative nationwide 4,281.35km Medium Voltage (MV) to 4436.48km of MV.
Regional transmission-lines including the construction of 220kV transmission line, Mirama-Uganda-Shango-Rwanda and 183km transmission line to -Karongi-Rubavu-Goma-Kigali-Shango are also expected to be completed between September and October, respectively.
It is envisaged that once completed, the projects will enable Rwanda to trade power within the East African region.
A total of 85,585 new households were connected to the grid between January and November 2014; increasing the total cumulative connections to 474,083, while a cumulative total of 1,407 new domestic biogas digesters were constructed.
National power generation capacity has recently improved thanks to projects like Nyabarongo I (28MW), Kivuwatt 25MW, Gishoma Peat Plant (15MW) and Giggawatt Solar power plant 8.5MW by 2015
However, access to electricity is still low at only 22% and there are hopes that with other projects such as 100MW of peat to power, 100MW of hydro power from Nyabarongo II, 50MW from methane gas and geothermal exploration expected to commence soon, the power dream could become a reality.
Recently, Rwanda signed an energy deal with Kenya to import 30MW of electricity from Kenya.
The deal according to Robert Nyamvumba, the Energy Development Company Limited managing director will help address the challenge of affordability and flexibility in the country’s energy industry.
Access to biogas
Meanwhile, the Ministry, through Energy Development Corporation Limited will work with districts to subsidize and supervise the construction of 1,500 domestic and 15 institutional biogas digesters by end of June 2015.
“Whereas 380 domestic digesters have so far been constructed, 1,120 more domestic digesters and 10 more institutional biogas digesters have to be constructed over the next 6 months,” a statement from the ministry indicated.