The photo is sourced from esi-africa.com
The project to be implemented by 2027 with the participation of Sinohydro, a Chinese construction company, is supposed to reduce energy shortages and solve the problem of flooding the wetlands along the Nyabarongo and the Akagera rivers. An unpredictable rainfall leads to frequent landslides and floods resulting in losses of the local residents’ homes. To solve this problem, the UN Environment Program initiated installation of 22 automated weather stations in Rwanda, which automatically send weather reports to the residents in the largest provinces. The construction of the cascade of HPPs will make possible accumulation of the energy of river floods. “Through this project, we want to turn the flooded lands into the arable ones, and increase power generation,” the ESI Africa, a regional publication, quotes Wang Jiaxin, a Chinese embassy representative in Rwanda.
According to the Rwanda Energy Group (RGE), a government-owned electricity company, only 60.9% of the country’s households had access to electricity in 2021: 45% of them are connected to the national grid, and 15.9% are supplied from autonomous sources. As the Rwandan government plans to raise this proportion to 100% by 2024, RGE will annually make 500,000 new connections, including 200,000 to the power grid and 300,000 standalone (with the total number of household reaching 2.8 million).
HPP is the most popular renewable energy source (RES) in Rwanda. The total capacity of the RES power plants in the country that are connected to the public grid was 159 MW in 2021: 120 MW – HPPs, 38 MW – photovoltaic panels and 1 MW – bioenergy power plants.