The Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) is drafting new standards to streamline and regulate the bio-energy sector.
The standards seek to strengthen quality safeguards and guidelines on bio-fuel production in the country, experts at RSB have revealed.
Peace Ababo, the RSB water, sanitation and environmental protection officer, noted that the initiative will help control production of bio-energy, as well as ensure safety and quality in the industry.
She added that if the sector is not properly regulated, the country could be exposed to climate change effects and food insecurity, especially where crops are used in the production of bio-fuel.
Ababo told The New Times that the standards body is also working with East African Community (EAC) partner states to ensure uniformity in the region.
Presently, Rwanda particularly produces bio-gas from animal waste, as well as peat energy.
The country used to produce bio-diesel until 2012 when the bio-fuel pilot project at the former Institute of Scientific and Technological Research was hit by logistical and regulatory problems and stopped production of the clean energy.
Maize, ground nuts, sorghum, palm trees, moringa, sunflower and jatropha are some of the crops used in the production of bio-fuels.
“Economic growth increases the demand for energy, which calls for proper industry-focused regulation, especially in the production process,” Ababo said.
“We are confident the standards, when finally implemented, will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.”
Regional governments plan to switch from high sulphur diesel and gasoline products by 2015 to low sulphur fuel to reduce toxic emissions and protect the environment.
Samuel Mporanzi, the RSB standards lead officer, said the new standards will play a crucial role in government’s push for green growth.
“The standard will promote green growth and support efforts aimed at combating the effects of climate change,” Mporanzi said.
The government earmarked Rwf10.8 billion for renewable energy and climate resilient technologies initiatives in the current financial year. Ababo said bio-energy is an important fuel source that reduces the dangers involved in using fossil fuels.