Hydro-power and skills for Rwandan communities - CNBC Africa

Hydro-power and skills for Rwandan communities

East Africa

by Tendai Dube 0

Rwanda's energy sector continues to grow with strong investment into renewable energy in East Africa. Photo: Wikipedia

Rwanda's energy sector continues to grow with strong investment into renewable energy in East Africa.

Practical Action Consulting and East Africa Power have launched the Rubagabaga hydro-power project in Western Rwanda that will make use of decentralised energy technology to provide energy to local communities.

"The portion of actual revenue generated on this project and also the electricity will be powered back to the village, whereby these people are going to benefit," said Mahlon Kyomuhendo, Project Manager at Practical Action Consulting.

The model involves a lot of self-sustainability and skills training, equipping the locals with the necessary knowledge to build up.

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Rubagabaga will construct and operate a 390KW power run-of-river mini-hydropower plant on the river in Ngororero and Nyabihu Districts in Rwanda. The project is estimated to take 16-months of construction and a couple more for commissioning.

Energy projects need a lot of initial capital to start up, in terms of infrastructure but  Kyomuhendo says they rely on donors and public-private partnerships, which helps ease some of that burden.

With regards to the many options of renewable energy that investors can explore, Kyomuhendo says that the energy sector is so broad - it all depends on what agenda a company has at the time.

"Access to energy is quite broad, be it the rural or the urban areas but again if we really look at this deeply and analyse or assess this - there are a lot of companies that really complement each other.”

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