Rwanda to invest US$4.7 billion in energy sector over next five years

Hydro dam ZambiaThe Rwandan government has said it will invest US$4.7bn in the country's energy sector over the next five years to help it meet its ambitious target of producing 1,000MW of electricity by 2017

Dr Pierre Habumuremyi, the Rwandan Prime Minister, recently told parliament that the investment would be worth the effort as huge stocks of energy are tipped to significantly reduce the cost of electricity, which will in turn bolster industrial growth and general economic development.

According to East African Business Week, the country's current energy stock lies at about 110MW, with an additional 50.5MW to be added by the end of 2013. Rwanda's energy distribution body, EWSA, has said there are plans to produce at least 320MW from hydro power, 300MW from methane gas, 310MW from geothermal energy and 200MW from peat energy sources.

Top on the government's priority list for electrical connections will be schools, health centres and government offices, which will be connected to the national grid or through reliable off-grid systems by 2017.

Rwanda is currently spending millions of dollars each month on a thermal energy power plant, which generates up to 20MW of electricity from heavy fuels and contributes 40 per cent of the country's total energy resources.

Geoffrey Muleme

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