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Rwanda's green innovation

June 11, 2013

Low-cost, grassroots innovations in rural Rwanda are key to providing clean electricity to the country’s residents. Now, the government too is supporting a few such energy initiatives.

Global Ideas
TItelbild RuandaImage: DW/Julia Henrichmann

Project type: water power and solar energy
Project goal: The Rwandan government wants to redouble efforts to promote renewable energy and profit from international emissions trading with hydro power, solar plants and small projects such as the “Wonderbag“
Project size: Two model projects are to be certified for international emissions trading. They include 100 Wonderbags in the village of Mandela near the capital Kigali and a hydro power plant in Nasho near Tanzania. It already provides electricity to 200 households

Renewable energy is still in its infancy in Rwanda. Just 17 percent of the population there has access to electricity. But that's meant to change. The Rwandan government is pushing the expansion of clean energy with a few small initiatives in the countryside. It's handed out the „Wonderbag“ to a 100 women in the village of Mandela. A pot with warm food can be kept inside the cloth bag which captures heat and allows the food to continue cooking for a few hours. That saves the women the hassle of looking for firewood and at the same time reduces carbon emissions. In the village of Nasho, a hydro power plant has been in operation for the last three months. It was built by Anastase Tabaro who's out of work. He taught himself the technology, and constructed and funded the facility by himself too. Now he's getting help from the government that wants Anastase Tabaro to replicate his model across Rwanda.

A film by Julia Henrichmann

Ecological development