Geospatial Analysis of Site Suitability for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) in Rwanda
The Government of Rwanda decided to use renewable energy to generate electricity for meeting the current and future energy demand as well as reducing greenhouse gases emissions. The Nationally Determined Contribution indicated that the adoption of solar energy related actions would reduce 8.5% of total greenhouse gases emission by 2030. In addition, the Government of Rwanda planned to increase electricity access to 100% of households by 2024. Therefore, identifying the potential locations for solar photovoltaic (PV) is essential for supporting the current country’s programs of promoting the use of renewable energy. In this study, GIS as a spatial analysis tool was used based on the Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) model to find the suitable locations for solar PV through the identification and weighting of the factors that affect suitability. The reclassified and weighted values were combined in a bid to produce the final suitability map for solar PV. Findings revealed that most of the Rwandan regions receive solar radiation, which is higher than 3.6 kWh/m2 per day recommended for solar PV installation. This implies that Rwanda receives enough solar radiation to enable electricity generation. Based on analyzed criteria, results revealed that 42.48% of Rwanda territory coverage is suitable for solar PV plant and 30.58% is moderately suitable. Most of those sites were found in the Eastern and Southern Provinces of Rwanda.