An official from the Ministry of Infrastructure in charge of geothermal development has revealed that Rwanda is ready to utilise underground energy sources.
“Development of geothermal energy is a priority for the Government because we have the natural resources though this is a new area of development for us. We want to diversify energy sources to meet the ever increasing demand for energy in the country,” Uwera Rutagarama told The New Times in an interview Monday.
She also revealed that government has yet to start drilling underground power known as geothermal energy to meet increasing energy demands.
According to Rutagarama, last year in November, the Rwandan government signed an implementation agreement with the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) to carry out a joint geothermal assessment of the volcanic areas of Gisenyi District and build local capacity in exploitation natural geothermal resources.
She added that government has put special focus on the use of clean renewable energy sources such as geothermal energy which is eco-friendly.
Rutagarama also noted that Rwanda wants to join the African Rift Geothermal Organization to benefit from the African Rift Geothermal Development Facility available to member countries.
“We also want to benefit from services and facilities offered to member countries such as sourcing finances for geothermal development, in particular drilling which is very expensive and also capacity building for Rwandans,” she said.
Rutagarama is part of the Rwandan delegation that is attending a four-day second African Rift Geothermal Conference (ARGeoC2) that opened in Kampala on Monday.
Currently sources of electricity in Rwanda include: Hydro which accounts for 56 percent, thermal at 39 percent, solar 0.3 percent and methane gas.
Prospective geothermal zones include National volcanoes zone in the Northern part of Kivu Lake comprising of eight big volcanic structures. Five of them are situated in Rwanda: Muhabura, Gahinga, Sabyinyo, Bisoke, Karisimbi and Lake Kivu faults.
Hydro-thermal manifestations have also been identified in Gisenyi and Mashuyza.