Rwanda has significant potential for hydropower generation, with many areas receiving ample rainfall and most streams or rivers unexploited. While current installed capacity stands at 59 MW, the government estimates untapped potential of over 300 MW, and has identified 333 possible sites for micro hydropower generation.
The Rwanda Hydropower Atlas, developed by the Rwanda Ministry of Infrastructure in 2009, found that most of the sites identified range between 50 kW and 1 MW in potential capacity. The sites are located along the major rivers flowing south from Mount Karisimbi in the north of the country, and along the Ruzizi River towards Lake Kivu in the west. Larger projects are already under development in cooperation with Rwanda’s neighbours. Furthermore, over 192 potential pico hydro sites (with potential capacity of less than 50 kW) have been identified.
Feasibility studies and assessments are being carried out on an ongoing basis, with the result that the amount of technically viable new capacity seems to increase constantly.
Source: Rwanda’s Micro-Hydro Energy Market – Target Market Analysis (GIZ, 2009)