A Review and Estimation of the Economic Performance of Off-grid Solar in Rwanda

Alisson Ntwali Author
08/04/2021 Added
15 Plays


Rwanda's population connected to the grid grew from 6% in 2000 to 37% in 2019. Despite this remarkable growth in the energy sector and the economy, there is still a lot to achieve. Rwanda projects itself towards achieving universal access by 2024. In 2014, the off-grid systems were introduced in the country and have grown to 14% now. Therefore, the current status of electricity access is 51% (where 37% is on-grid and 14% is off-grid). This means that almost half of the population lives without electricity access, whereas others connected to the grid face high electricity tariffs and frequent power outages (blackouts). The National Electrification Plan (NEP) details that Rwanda’s goals in the energy sector for 2024, where grid is projected to be extended up to 52% and the off-grid industry to grow up to 48%. This shows how Rwanda believes that off-grid systems can be a solution towards its universal access goal. Since then, many companies brought off-grid solar products to supply this overseen growing market. This bulletin was written to guide new potential consumers in the process of comparing products and making decisions about what are the products of their best fit and that can help them make economical investments. Simple and quick ways of making calculations of the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and other costs were proposed and explained. The System Advisor Model by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was used to estimate the Energy Production (kWh/year) for seven different locations of the country. A collation of selected weather data for each city location, listing hourly values of solar radiation and meteorological elements for a one (typical meteorological year) period was used to determine the estimated production. The values were generated from a databank with 12 years (2007-2016) of meteorological data.

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