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Biogas and Solar Energy Use in Rural Institutions in Southern Province, Rwanda

T Muhizi
E Twarabamenye
F Ndahayo
A Hakizimana


In Rwanda, 85% of primary energy comes from biomass. To alleviate this huge dependence, the Government banks on use of alternative sources of energy prioritising solar energy and biogas in rural areas. This paper analyses the use of the two sources in 45 rural institutions in Southern Province, using data collected through desk study and survey. The research reveals that these sources of energy are known in Rwanda, but very few rural institutions are equipped with such systems. Solar energy and biogas are used for lighting and cooking respectively. Their adoption is still government and NGOs driven. Institutions equipped with such systems experience lack of skilled technicians resulting in poor maintenance and malfunctioning. Lack of funds, little insight on the advantages of using the two sources of energy, and existing financial facilities set up by the government to promote their dissemination are major obstacles to their adoption. Therefore, departments in charge of energy should organise awareness campaign for heads of institutions to inform them on the advantages of using these energy sources. They should also set up and run specific training programmes to avail technicians capable of installing, operating and maintaining solar or biogas power systems.

Keywords: Rwanda, Southern province, biogas, solar energy, uses, constraints.

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eISSN: 2227-5444
print ISSN: 2225-8612