Small Hydropower Development in Rwanda: Trends, Opportunities and Challenges
Gasore Geoffrey1, Daniel Zimmerle2 and Etienne Ntagwirumugara1
The Rift Valley region of Sub-Saharan Africa represents a promising area for the development of small (<5MW) hydropower resources. This study compiles data from government and UN agency reports to analyze different development outlooks. The study found that there has been a rapid deployment of small hydropower in the last 10 years. From the current total deployed small hydro of 47.5 MW, 16.5MW (35%) were deployed from 1957 to 1984 while the remaining 31 MW (65%) were deployed from 2007 to 2017. While all systems constructed prior to 1985 are grid-connected, one third of the 24 facilities constructed after 2007 are connected to off-grid systems. The study provides an overview of the economic incentives for developing small hydropower systems in Rwanda and the potential contribution of that development to Rwanda's electrification goals.