Off-grid power solutions, including renewable energy sources, will play an instrumental role in the country’s rural electrification programme.
Justus Mucyo, managing director of BBOXX, a local solar energy provider, said off-grid power supply for Rwandans who are not served by the national grid reduces pressure on forests, as well as the health risks presented by use of kerosene lamps and wood.
Mucyo said the firm is working together with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Electricity Distribution Corporation Limited to help achieve the government’s target of connecting 70 per cent of the Rwandan population with electricity by 2017/18.
Rwanda targets to provide electricity to 70 per cent of all households by the end of the 2017/18 fiscal year. About 48 per cent of these will be connected using on-grid, while 22 per cent will be on off-grid energy solutions, such as solar, bio-gas, peat and other alternative sources of energy.
While speaking during an event to celebrate the firm’s 10,000th customer in Rwanda in Nyanza District, Mucyo said the firm targets to connect 50,000 in the next 12 months.
The firm has outlets in 16 districts and plans to open 17 branches to establish presence in each of Rwanda’s 30 districts.
BBOXX has generated employment for more than 200 youth and women in the past two years and provided indirect employment for 300 people through its agency network, according to Mucyo.
Since 2010, BBOXX has provided off-grid electricity to more than 350,000 people in 35 countries around the world. The firm makes and distributes solar systems worldwide.