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Rwanda Enery Group Reviews its Power Targets

Rwanda Energy Group has reviewed its energy rollout strategy and aligned it with the Government’s seven-year programme, giving itself a target to ensure countrywide coverage in the next seven years.
Officials from the utility firm have confirmed that there are no plans to add additional power onto the grid before 2018. The new strategy comes amidst uncertainty over the feasibility of achieving previously set targets. This includes generation of 563MW by 2018.
Currently, REG has a generation capacity of 208 megawatts. This is less than half of the 2018 target while the connection rate is currently at about 32 per cent. The target also aims at ensuring that at least 70 per cent of households in Rwanda have power connection.
However, three months to the deadline, the utility firm has turned to a new strategy that, among others, aims at providing power to the entire Kigali city in the next two years and the entire country in the next seven years. The plan, dubbed “7-5-2,” also aims at ensuring all productive users in the country have access to power in the next five years.


According to the acting Managing Director of Energy Development Corporation Ltd, Yves Nshuti, the strategy also sought to align itself with the seven-year government programme.
 “We have made a new arrangement whereby we are harmonizing our plan with the government’s plan of seven years. This year we are going to work under the 7-5-2 plan. This aims at connecting all the households in next seven years, by 2024, connecting all the productive users by 2022. We will also ensure that the entire capital has electricity connection in the next two years. We are sure that our plan is not contradictory with government plans.  Actually, it has the same aim with government,” he said.
New Energy Strategy
The new strategy is largely dependent on power imports from neighbouring countries. This is an initiative that has been in the pipeline for years but had stalled repeatedly. Nshuti said that the power importation plan was still and is set to add about 100MW in the near future.
“The project is still going on, like any other project it had some issues. However, it is nearing completion now. We will soon have capacity to import over 100MW from Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia using the same power lines,” he said.
However, REG will not add power to the grid before 2018. Instead  it wants to concentrate on increasing power lines and efficiency. “Our main goal is to ensure that all our customers have enough power. We are also developing power lines and strengthening supply,” Nshuti said.
REG chief executive Ron Weiss said, to achieve the targets, they will need to scale up the use of off-grid solutions to about 12 per cent from the current 4 per cent. Off-grid solutions, he said, will serve areas of the country that are far from the national grid or areas that do not require as much energy.
The process will see more involvement of the private sector, the officials said.

Source: Construction review

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