Boosting use of alternative energy sources vital

Last week, government signed a $23 million (approximately Rwf15 billion) energy agreement with a Netherlands based firm to develop 8.5 Megawatts solar power plant in Rwamagana District in the Eastern Provinc

Last week, government signed a $23 million (approximately Rwf15 billion) energy agreement with a Netherlands based firm to develop 8.5 Megawatts solar power plant in Rwamagana District in the Eastern Province.

Given the high cost of electricity and petroleum products, it’s prudent for Rwanda to seriously exploit alternative energy sources.

These include solar, peat and geothermal power among others.

There is abundant sunlight in the country which should help us generate uninterrupted solar power supply for both domestic and budding industries  in the countryside.

Everyday many Rwandans especially in rural areas use several litres of paraffin for lighting their homes at night. These households are not connected to the national electric grid or any other power sources.

The paraffin costs those households a lot of money which can be spent on food, clothes, and scholastic materials for children or even pay health insurance.

We should help educate these households to learn more about the possibilities of small scale solar energy. We need to help people understand that there are reliable alternatives to paraffin whose costs can be affordable if people are organised in cooperatives. For example the use of reliable lanterns powered by solar can lead to savings on paraffin.

Also solar energy is environmentally friendly and sustainable. Therefore, Government should consider reducing duty on solar panels to boost use of power from the sun.In addition, the private sector should be encouraged to come on board through private public partnerships to boost the use of alternative energy.

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