Ignite Power has signed an agreement to bring solar power to 250,000 homes in Rwanda by 2018. The announced plan has a goal to bring electricity to 70% of the households in the country. London-based company, Ignite Power, has signed this agreement with the Rwandan government, which will provide off-grid solar systems to mainly the rural areas of the country which will finally make electricity accessible for households.
The whole project will cost around $50 million, and approximately 1 million solar systems will be installed. Customers will pay the cost in weekly or monthly installments. The solar system would be able to power some lights, radio, cell phones and television.
State minister of energy, Germaine Kamayirese said: “ This project will provide environmentally-friendly access to electricity to the households who can’t be connected.”
This project is part of Rwanda’s goal of giving access to electricity in rural areas that are not reached by the country’s infrastructure. Currently, 1% of households are connected to off-grid electricity, and this would increase to around 22% with this program. They hope to eventually provide electricity to 70% of the households in Rwanda. The country has already had some success in providing electricity to rural households, between 2009 and 2012 access to electricity increased from 6% to 16% with the help of similar efforts.
It’s a five-year project, and the installation and distribution of the solar power systems will be done in the next three years. The beneficiaries will pay monthly $5 for the next two years after the installation.
Wood accounted for 100% of the energy generation in 2000, and now it has significantly dropped to around 80%. The government wants to decrease the energy generated from wood to 50% by 2020. Some other companies involved or soon to be involved are BBOX, Azuri and Off Grid Electric.
People in the country have to pay much more cost for fuels, like kerosene, for light than solar systems. The companies operating in Africa are making it possible to provide solar systems on easy installment plans for the people.
“Power Africa is breaking the logjam on energy infrastructure and keeping eager capital flowing to worthy projects,” Gayle Smith, administrator for U.S. Agency for International Development, said in a statement.
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