Posted on :Wednesday , 6th June 2018
A 4 kW AC/DC solar mini-grid in Gitaraga village, Bugesera District in Eastern Rwanda has been introduced by MeshPower to provide clean energy access to 196 households and 15 businesses, nine of which are operated by women.
The mini-grid will not only improve the standard of living in the community but also offer new economic opportunities and enhance the productivity of businesses in the village, which is currently not served by the national grid.
Victor Hakuzwumuremyi SOGER Programme Manager at Energy 4 Impact said “Developers of small mini-grids are more likely to recover their costs and remain profitable if they power small industries and businesses, as well as households. Our role has been to promote productive uses of electricity among customers by engaging with hairdressers, tailors, welders, etc., and assist them to develop their own capacity to use the electricity to increase their profitability and productivity,”
Electricity demand stimulation requires a multi-faceted approach and includes strategies to create awareness of energy for business-related activities among potential users, identify electric appliances, helping businesses access capital to acquire the equipment and then train businesses to use the electricity to cut costs, grow and diversify.
MeshPower operates 69 solar mini-grids that supply electricity to over 2,400 households and small businesses across Rwanda. These mini-grids are among the several private sector-led efforts to fast-track the realization of the Rwandan government’s vision of achieving universal electricity coverage by 2024. Availability of affordable, reliable energy is also supportive of the drive towards industrialization, a precursor for jobs creation and economic development and drive towards a middle-income status.
“We enable villagers to improve their standard of living, by powering homes. By powering businesses and productive enterprises, we enable economic development at the village-level by generating employment and revenue,” says Julie Roberts, Project Manager at MeshPower.