Rwanda has considerable opportunities for energy development – from hydro sources, methane gas, solar and peat deposits. Untapped resources for power generation amount to about 1,200 MW. Most of these energy sources have not been fully exploited. As such, wood is still the major source of energy for 85 per cent of the population and imported petroleum products consume more than 40 per cent of foreign exchange.
Energy is a key component of the economy. It is thus recognised that the current inadequate and expensive energy supply constitutes a limiting factor to sustainable development. Rwanda’s Vision 2020 emphasizes the need for economic growth, private investment and economic transformation supported by a reliable and affordable energy supply as a key factor for the development process. To achieve this transformation, the country will need to increase energy production and diversify into alternative energy sources.
Several indicators point to an energy crisis in Rwanda, including: accelerated deforestation, a biomass energy deficit and deterioration in electricity generation and distribution systems.
The major part of the energy consumed in Rwanda today still comes from wood (80.4 per cent). Yet studies carried out as far back as 1981/82 and 1989/90 already showed a gap of 3,000,000 m³ of wood for energy needs only (Privatisation Secretariat undated). As a result, there is massive deforestation across the country with consequent effects on the environment.
Still, wood is the major source of energy in Rwanda.
The current trend towards increased urbanization and the declining state of forest resources points to the need to design effective alternative interventions to address some of the pressing challenges in the energy sector and towards development of environmental friendly alternatives:
• Create awareness among communities on sustainable energies
• Promotion and introduction of LPG and solar thermal applications
• Usage of improved Cooking Stoves
Solar power systems as a source of sustainable energy.
Energy consumption is intricately linked to environment and natural resources; Our organization recognizes the need for alternative, renewable energy sources, as a means of reducing tremendous pressure on woody biomass – and there are opportunities!
• Improved environment management through more efficient energy use.
• Providing adequate and affordable energy that is essential for eradicating poverty, improving human welfare, and raising living standards
• Promotion of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) to households and commercial users will provide opportunities for enhanced efficiencies with
real benefits for environmental protection.
• Energy efficiency in the transport sector
• Implement a wood and charcoal efficiency and substitution strategy to counter the deforestation crisis.
• The application of tools such as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), he Environment Impact Assessment (EIA);
• energy system Rwanda requires technological breakthroughs that radically alter how the country produces and uses energy. Institutional
co-operation and co-ordination is imperative to achieve this goal.
• Promote and to improve mass transport systems to reduce fuel consumption, traffic congestion and pollution.
• Explore and Encourage possibilities of fuel switch to other energy forms.
• Promotion of environmentally friendly technologies in energy and agriculture sectors such as renewable energy/technologies usage in rural
• Create awareness and understanding of available renewable technologies, practices and resources.
• Promote efficient conversion and end-use energy technologies and practices in order to minimize health hazards primarily affecting women and
children, and environmental degradation.
• Resolve the issue of fuel wood imbalance through planting of more trees