Rwanda to cut biomass energy use by half by 2024: official

KIGALI, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — Rwanda has embarked on strategies aimed to reduce its dependence on biomass as a source of energy by half by 2024 to ease environmental degradation, minister of infrastructure Claver Gatete said in Kigali on Monday.

Dependence on biomass Rwanda now stands at about 83 percent, meaning the source of energy in the country is mainly traditional biomass, consisting of fuel wood, charcoal and agricultural waste, Gatete told the opening of the second edition of the Renewable Energy for Sustainable Growth Forum in the Rwandan capital.

This leaves serious negative impact on forests and people’s health, which makes the government determined to cut the use of firewood for cooking by institutions such as hotels, schools, hospitals, prisons, police and army, he said.

The strategies undertaken by the government to reduce the dependence on biomass include encouraging the use of institutional biogas and liquefied petroleum gas, Gatete said.

Other strategies include ensuring affordable prices for institutional biogas and liquefied petroleum gas, which could ensure all urban and peri-urban dwellers to use gas.

The minister reaffirmed his government’s commitment to achieving universal access to sustainable energy by 2024 with focus on renewable energy resources.

The share of renewable energy use globally is expected to grow by one-fifth in the next five years to reach 12.4 percent, providing almost 30 percent of power demand, up from 24 percent in 2017, according to the minister.

The energy forum, which drew energy investors and policymakers, is part of the Rwanda Energy Week, which runs from Nov. 5 to Nov. 9.

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