During the recent iPAD Rwanda Power and Infrastructure Investment Forum in Kigali - the country’s capital - stakeholders sought to explore Rwanda's untapped energy potential and investment incentives, as well as roll-out plans within the East African region.
The government also said that the country would keenly focus on its second Economic Development Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) goals, largely by investing in energy generation.
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“The first EDPRS had a target of moving from 110,000 connections, that were there by then, to 360,000 connections, making it 16 per cent. EDPRS II [is] moving from that to 70 per cent," said Edward Kasumba, coordinator of the Electricity Access Roll-Out Program at Rwanda Energy Group.
"With the 70 per cent, we have a portion of the grid. There is a need to target more of the industrial use and productive use to increase consumption, thereby sustaining the utility.”
Currently, government is the leading investor in the sector with the state-owned Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) controlling the generation and distribution of electricity.
However, the country is looking to bridge its widening energy deficit and the nation’s private sector is expected to invest over 1.3 billion US dollars into the sector.
“The plan is there for the East African Community. Though the timelines that were indicated in the 2011 version of that plan are lagging, the projects themselves are making progress,” said energy consultant, David Mwangi.
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“Come the end of 2017, 2018, most of the big interconnection projects will be in place. By then it is expected that the 220 KV network, that is connecting Kenya to Uganda [and] Uganda to Rwanda, will be in place, as well as a 400 KV line from Kenya to Tanzania.”
Rwanda’s installed capacity is currently around 110 MW and it is seeking to increase power generation to 563 MW by 2017.