Rwanda Looks to Small Hydropower

Rwanda is looking to small hydropower to help meet growing demand for electricity in a sustainable, easily-deployable way.

Rwanda’s Head of Hydropower Emmanuel Kirenga was at a hydro conference in Johannesburg last week speaking about the country’s push to get 42 MW of small hydro capacity over the next 5 years, according to a report from Engineering News. That would bring the total hydro capacity in Rwanda to 102 MW.

Beyond those small projects, the country is also working with its neighbors to develop larger hydro facilities that could benefit multiple countries. Those projects include the 63-MW Rusumo project and the 205-MW Ruizi IV project, according to Engineering news.

Hydro is often criticised as an environmental and social hazard in developing countries. Often, big projects can create methane sinks and drive people out of villages. By focusing on small and mid-sized hydro projects, it may be easier to finance and build out the facilities.

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