STATUS OF THE HYDROPOWER SECTOR IN RWANDA

Achievements and trends by June 2016

Over the last decade, Rwanda’s hydropower sector showed a tremendous progress,tripling the domestic installed capacity from 26 MW to 82 MW (see figure 1, including the regional hydropower projects Ruzizi I&II). This was also reached by involving private sector investment to introduce independent power producers (IPP) to the sector, as well as by handing over operation of existing hydropower plants to private operators. Both required the development of a conduicive legal and regulatory  environment

  Fig1:Installed hydrocapacity from 2005 to 2016 in MW

*    Currently, 9 micro hydropower plants with a total a capacity of 1,740 kW exist in Rwanda as isolated networks (see table 2). Most of these sites were leased out to private developers in 2015 and are planned to be connected to the grid.

*    By April 2016, 7 privately developed hydropower plants with a total capacity of 16 MWwere under different phases of construction, with commercial operation dates (COD) planned in 2016 and 2017.

*    Some 43 hydropower projects are under development by the private sector with a total capcity of about 53 MW. Of these, 11 hydropower projects with a total capacity of about 23 MW had concession agreement signed with the GoR by June 2016. Another 32 projects with a total capacity of about 30 MW can be considered to be in an early stage of development. For another 40 smaller sites (9.2 MW in total) feasibility studies have been conducted on behalf of REG.

*    About 30 both Rwandese and international companies are currently involved in hydropower projects in Rwanda. The total investment volume for the18 private sector driven hydropower plants in construction and advanced development stage (39 MW) can be estimated at about 150 Mio USD.

*    The overall legal and regulatory framework for private sector investment in Rwanda is favourable and the investment process for hydropower is fairly established. However, the former feed-in regulation expired in March 2015 and is in the process to be renewed, while the debate on water usage licence and fees is ongoing. Read more

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