Rwanda to develop off-grid lighting
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
LAGOS, Nigeria, Aug. 9 (UPI) — Approximately 85 percent of Rwanda’s population has no access to the electricity grid, leading energy officials to seek “off-grid” solutions.
GVEP International, a charity that battles poverty and climate change by promoting access to modern and renewable energy sources, has produced a report outlining investment possibilities in Rwanda’s off-grid electrical sector, which includes solar lanterns and solar photovoltaic systems.
David Disch, GVEP’s sustainable markets adviser, wrote the study.
“Our research shows that compared to other countries in the region where bulk sales appear more common, it is important for companies in Rwanda to build a dealer network and market their products in order to achieve sales,” he said in a GVEP International release.
“Awareness is still very low in Rwanda but the country has a high potential, despite challenges in affordability. The settlement structure is still very rural. However, companies require support to set up a distribution network and getting the marketing right.”
Disch’s research indicates a Rwandan family using a solar lantern can reduce lighting energy expenditure about 65 percent compared to traditional fuels, such as kerosene.