KIGALI, June 8 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda has announced plans to connect at least 70 percent of rural households to electricity by 2017, according to the ministry of infrastructure.
Rwanda rural electrification currently stands at 22 percent.
James Musoni, Rwanda's minister of infrastructure told reporters on Wednesday that work is ongoing to meet the Rwandan government's target of electrifying 70 percent of rural homes by next year.
"The government ambition towards energy policy is for every Rwandan citizen to have affordable, reliable electricity and in a sustainable way," he said.
Musoni who was visiting Birembo Power-Substation in Kinyinya Sector, Gasabo district in the outskirts of Capital Kigali to assess the construction works' progress, noted that Rwanda has put in place strategies to promote energy sector by diversifying of energy sources such as methane, hydro electric power, geothermal, peat and solar energy, among others.
The central African country has embarked on plans to rehabilitate power transmission lines and substations across the country in order to achieve the 70 percent rural electrification target.
According to Jean Bosco Mugiraneza, chief executive of Rwanda Energy Group, the government has initiated a public- private partnership program to boost energy production in the country.
"Rwanda energy production capacity was quadrupled over the past eight years. The energy production capacity is about 200mw, up from 50mw in 2008," he said.
Mugiraneza expressed his confidence that the goal can be reached through a mix of hydro, methane gas, geothermal, peat and solar energy.
He highlighted projects such as Nyabarongo station (28 MW), Kivuwatt methane project (25 MW), Gishoma peat plant (15 MW) and the Giggawatt solar power plant (8.5 MW) as energy sources that will help the country to light up rural homes.
The country also wants to increase its generation capacity from the current 155MW to 563MW by 2017.
In addition, 80 MW will come from Rusumu hydroelectric project, 147 MW from Rusizi III hydro project while power will also be imported through regional cooperation such as 400 MW from Ethiopia, and 30 MW from Kenya.
According to the ministry of infrastructure, Rwanda plans to begin exporting renewable energy to regional countries by 2021.