Rwanda has closed all of its diesel power plants, becoming the first African country to do so. The move comes as the country has expanded its renewable energy capacity, including hydroelectricity and methane gas.
In a recent interview, Infrastructure Minister Jimmy Gasore said that the closure of the diesel power plants was facilitated by the opening of two new power plants: the Rusumo Hydro Project and Shema Power Lake Kivu Ltd. The Rusumo Hydro Project is a joint scheme shared by Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania, and is expected to generate 80MW upon full operation. Shema Power Lake Kivu Ltd is a methane gas power generation plant that aims to generate 56MW.
Before the closure of the diesel power plants, Rwanda had five such power plants, generating 26.76% of the total electricity in the country. However, the country also has four thermal power plants that use alternative fuels such as methane and peat. Altogether, these power plants were generating 51% of the total electricity in the country before the decommissioning of diesel power plants.
The Rwandan government hopes that the closure of the diesel power plants will lead to lower electricity prices for consumers. The government is also encouraging people to use electric vehicles, and plans to harness solar energy in the future.
Rwanda’s Renewable Energy Potential
Rwanda has significant potential for renewable energy development. The country has a high average solar radiation of 4.5 kWh per m2 per day, and approximately five peak sun hours. This means that solar energy has the potential to play a major role in Rwanda’s energy mix.
Rwanda also has a number of hydroelectric power plants, which currently generate the majority of the country’s electricity. However, there is still potential for further hydroelectric development, as well as the development of other renewable energy sources such as geothermal and wind energy.
Rwanda’s Commitment to Renewable Energy
Rwanda’s commitment to renewable energy is evident in its ambitious goals for the future. The country aims to increase its renewable energy capacity to 100% by 2050. This will require significant investment in renewable energy projects, but the Rwandan government is committed to making this happen.
Rwanda’s closure of all its diesel power plants is a major step forward in its transition to renewable energy. The country is setting an example for other African countries, and showing that it is possible to switch to a clean energy future.