RENEWABLE ENERGY SUB-SECTOR
1.1. Solar Energy
The Rwanda geographical location offers a valuable amount of solar radiation estimated at between 4.3 and 5.2 kWh/m2/day. The daily average sunshine time is 8 hours, which makes solar energy in Rwanda one of the contemplated renewable energy sources for power generation.
The Government of Rwanda has the target to increase the access to electricity at 70% by mid 2018 by promoting the use of renewable energy, mostly on-grid and off-grid solar PV systems.
Two solar PV plants namely GIGAWATT Global Solar Power (8.5 MW) and Jali Solar Power (0.25 MW) located in Rwamagana and Gasabo districts respectively are connected to the National Grid.
1.1.2. RURA role
The Regulatory Authority is closely following up on the operations of the existing on-grid solar PV plants as well as on the number of off-grid solar PV systems already being installed countrywide. RURA has also developed the Solar Water Heating Regulations to ensure efficient use of energy within commercial and industrial facilities.
1.2. Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy resources have been identified in Rwanda since 1980’s; several scientific investigations have been carried out on the Rwandan territory. Four main areas in Rwanda have been identified as geothermal prospects from surface manifestations, comprising mainly of hot springs. These are Bugarama in the South, Gisenyi, Karisimbi and Kinigi in the Northern and Western parts of the country. The potential of geothermal energy is still uncertain. Given the complexity involved in determining the commercial viability of geothermal power, much more detailed exploration studies and sub-surface drilling are required and already ongoing.
1.2.2. RURA role
The Authority has so far provided regulatory advice on the draft Rwanda Geothermal Resources Exploration, Development and Management Act while closely following up on the ongoing exploration phase.
Following the Government’s will to gradually offset the use of wood and charcoal in line with its energy and environment policies, the Government has stepped forward to promote the use of biogas, among other renewable energy sources. Biogas is a combustible gas produced by bacteria through fermentation of organic material under anaerobic conditions.
The use of modern bio-energy systems in Rwanda started with the promotion of institutional and domestic biogas technology whereby as of June 2016, 10,216 households and 81 institutions were connected with biogas systems with provision of cooking energy, lighting energy, quality fertilizer, and employment creation opportunity.
1.3.2. RURA role
In order to address the above challenge, RURA in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has developed Guidelines for Domestic Fixed Dome Biogas Operations to guide the construction and operation of domestic biogas plants.