20.02.19: Solar-Home-Systeme in Ruanda20.02.19: Solar-Home-Systeme in Ruanda20.02.19: Solar-Home-Systeme in Ruanda
Ö-quadrat - Ökologische und ökonomische Konzepte

Solar Home Systems in Rwanda

Climate protection can only be achieved with a joint international effort. For this reason, the organisation One for the Climate e.V. was established in May 2016 with 15 founding members from Germany, India, Rwanda, Tanzania and South Africa. The aim is to develop fair and joint projects for climate protection, which create jobs and liberate people from energy poverty in the areas most affected by climate change. Büro Ö-quadrat is one of the founding members.

The first project of the climate club was planned and implemented by Büro Ö-quadrat and Edgar Boes-Wenner (Co-initiator of One for the Climate) in Rwanda, where about 7 million people still live without electricity. tThe electrification rate is only 41 % nationwide and 9% in rural areas. In a first step 200 families received a solar home system (SHS), which provides them with renewable electricity. One SHS comprises a solar panel, four LED lamps, a radio, a charging station for mobile phones, a battery and a control unit. The SHS can provide the households enough light for the children’s homework, reading, playing and the daily tasks and electricity for charging mobile phones. The saved costs for kerosene are sufficient to pay for the SHS.

One fundamental aspect of the project is its economic viability i.e. to be independent from donations and public funding on the long term. Since most families do not have enough saving to buy the SHS for € 120 upfront, they only make an initial payment of approximately €20. The remaining amount will be payed in monthly installment over a period of 2 years. The monthly rate is lower than the kerosene costs which the families have to pay otherwise. After two years the family owns the SHS, bringing them continue benefits.

The kerosene saving is an important contribution towards climate protection. Furthermore, the SHS brings multiple health benefits to the households. The LED lighting is better for the eyes and air pollution from the kerosene can be avoided.

To pre-finance the SHS, the One Climate Solar Homes Rwanda GbR business corporation was founded. This corporation collected €21.000 initial funding from around 20 private investors. Their loan will be paid back over 2 years with an 3% interest rate.

The project partners in Rwanda are the Anglican Church of Rwanda (EAR) and the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR). These two churches are responsible for distributing the SHS and for collecting the monthly payments.

Provided the success of the pilot project, the project will be expanded in 2019 and beyond in collaboration with several partners in Rwanda and Germany

Dieter Seifried
Büro Ö-quadrat
Turnseestr. 44
79102 Freiburg
Tel. 0761-7079901