IOB – Access to Energy in Rwanda: Impact evaluation of activities supported by the Dutch Promoting Renewable Energy Programme

In 2008 the Promoting Renewable Energy Programme was launched in order to promote access to renewable energy in developing countries and to mitigate the negative effects of the use of energy on the climate.

Between 2010 and 2014, the impact was evaluated of the roll-out of the electricity grid, the national biogas programme, the marketing of personal solar lighting, and a project aimed at strengthening the energy authority in Rwanda. To that end, both quantitative and qualitative research methods were applied.

The renewable energy interventions were relevant to the objectives of both the Government of Rwanda and the Promoting Renewable Energy Programme. The electricity roll-out of the programme has been efficient; other activities were less efficient. The electricity roll-out programme has also been effective in providing access to energy. Impacts on household income and expenditure are modest, while welfare impact is most pronounced in the case of grid-supplied electricity. A strict application of the market approach for small energy interventions is at odds with aspiring to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions.