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Electricity Access Roll Out Program (EARP)

The Government of Rwanda (GoR), in partnership with development partners, launched Rwanda Electricity Access Roll out Programme (EARP) in 2009 as its flagship Programme to realize the primary targets of the EDPRS for the electricity access.

Before the inception of EARP, the GoR organized a round-table with the Ministry of Infrastructure  development partners to assess and coordinate their support to the Rwanda Energy Sector in accordance with the partnership principles. In July 2008, the GoR signed a Memorandum of Understanding with development partners sharing the common goal of enabling Rwanda to reach the targets of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy-EDPRS, the Millennium Development Goals-MDGs and the targets of Vision 2020. To this end, the partners intended to coordinate their support to Rwanda’s energy sector in accordance with the provisions of this MoU.

The MoU spells out the aim of improving  efficiency and effectiveness, as well as the impact of the Energy Sector Strategy by increasing transparency on both sides; improving the predictability and allocation of financing, and how to better coordinate the multiple inputs and activities serving sector objectives. The MoU provides a sound foundation for scaling up energy sector interventions in order to achieve the objectives of the EDPRS.

In March 2009, the Government of Rwanda published the report called “Castalia Report –Investment Prospectus:   Rwanda Electricity Access Programme (EARP)” to guide the implementation of Electricity Access Programme in its ambitious but achievable targets.

The total cost of sector investments required could realistically be met through affordable customer charges, Government funding and support from Development Partners.

In March 2013, EARP produced the national electrification plan that guided all the activities executed under EARP. This plan included the following categories for identification of projects:

Major electrification of green areas where there was initially no electricity access, with particular emphasis on connection to relevant infrastructure.

Electrification of new areas where MV (Medium Voltage) and LV(Low Voltage) extensions may be necessary. This will be implemented, based on the prioritization methodology described in the project prospectus.

 Addition of new subscribers in the close vicinity of an existing MV network and stepdown transformer, where there is only need of extension of the LV network.

So far, remarkable strides have been made by the Electricity Access Roll-out Programme (EARP), under which access to the grid has increased from 364,000 households in June 2012 to more than 700,000 households (31% of the total households in Rwanda) 2017.

 Currently, projects under implementation include:

  • Electricity Access Scale up and Sector Wide Approach Development Project (EASSDP) providing access to 148,000 households financed by World Bank through IDA and OFID 
  • Scaling up Energy Access Project (SEAP) financed by the African Development Bank (ADB).
  •  Rural electrification Project in Burera and Nyagatare districts - BADEA. This project will provide access to 13,000 households.
  • Increasing Access to Electricity to Some Areas in Rwanda Project financed by Saudi Fund for Development.This project will provide access to electricity to 18,000 households.
  • Improving Access to Reliable On-Grid Electricity Services for Households and Priority Public Institutions (BE1, 2 & 3 EARP) financed by the Belgian Government. The project will provide access to households in Kayonza, Rwamagana, Ngoma and Kirehe Districts.
  • Sustainable Energy Development Project (SEDP) financed by the Nordic Development Fund.
  • Rwanda Electricity Sector Strengthening Project (RESSP) financed by the World Bank through IDA. Through this project, additional 72,000 households will be connected to the grid.
  • Contracts financed by different districts and public institutions which will provide access to more than 40,000 households.

 

Promoting Productive use of electricity

As the Government of Rwanda is promoting alternative sources of electricity such as solar home systems, a parallel policy has been approved to encourage people to make productive use of the power on the national grid, in order to bridge the demand-supply imbalance, while making economic sense of future energy investments. By the end of the year 2017, a total of 3,541 productive use areas were connected to the national grid.

 

Use of Solar Water heaters to save energy 

In another effort to promote clean and efficient use of energy sources, there has been widespread campaign to encourage people to use Solar-powered Water Heaters (SWH). By the end of the year 2017, a total of 2,464 SWHs had been installed in different households across the country and the program is still under intense implementation.