SOURCES OF ENERGY IN RWANDA

The energy sector in Rwanda includes renewable and non renewable sources of energy. The renewable sources of energy include biomass, solar, peat, wind, geothermal and hydropower[J2] .

The current national energy supply is as follows:

Biomas 86 %,
Hydrocarbons 11 %
Electricity 3 %

HYDROPOWER
The country current installed capacity of 89.3 MW which produces over 277,000 MWh/year with a significant amount being provided by hydro plants smaller than 12 MW.

Hydro power is sourced from the following plants:

  • Nyabarongo(27.5 MW)
  • Rukarara(9.2 MW)
  • Rusumo(1/3 for Rwanda:20 MW)
  • Rusizi(1/2 for Rwanda:214 MW)
  • Small Hydro 30 MW (To date 333 sites have been identified for MHP projects for rural       electrification)

Biomass
This is energy in the form of firewood, charcoal or agricultural residues mainly for cooking purposes in Rwandan households and some rural based industries.

Peat Reserves
Rwanda is estimated to have over 155 million tones which is a good alternative to wood fuel. It is estimated that about a third is commercially extractable and can be used for direct use as source of heat or for production of electricity. Peat power production from peat is still in a planning stage and implementation stage. The use of peat as burning fuel has already been tested in community institutions, for brick making and in the cottage industry.

Geothermal Resources
Rwanda possesses geothermal resources in the form of hotsprings along the belt of Lake Kivu with a power generation potential of about 170-320 MW.

Wind
The potential of wind as a source of energy is currently being investigated. A national wind atlas is in the process of development with the support of the Belgian Government.

Hydrocarbons
This Is a source of electricity that is produced by power diesel generators, and about 42 per cent of the electricity produced in Rwanda is produced by diesel generators. Rwanda is completely dependent on imported petroleum products.

Methane gas
The country is estimated to have over 55 billion m3 can of dissolved methane gas Lake Kivu offers the best alternative for energy because of its relatively low construction cost and low estimated operating costs and is a key Government priority. According to a rough estimate, the methane potential in the Lake is equivalent to 40 million tons oil equivalent, which means an estimated 700 MW can be produced by power plants continuously at least over a period of 55 years assuming an extraction rate of one billion cubic meters of methane per year.


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