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Geothermal Policy and Strategy Support

Geothermal Policy and Strategy Support

State 

completed

Date 

1 December, 2013 to 30 June, 2015

Country 

Rwanda

Region 

East Africa

Summary

This type of activity was part of the RECP start-up phase and is now being offered under the Service Line SEADS.

A geothermal act and a geothermal exploration and development paper were drafted. A geothermal technical committee was formed in August 2013 to establish a Geothermal Development Programme, coordinating governmental and donor contributions to the sector. Despite the high priority given to geothermal development and the relatively advanced state of policy formulation, an integrated sector strategy covering technical, legal, regulatory and financial aspects is missing. The government has self-financed and contracted the first exploratory drilling in 2013. Unfortunately these drillings were stopped in 2014 without a successful outcome.

The project started its activities under the assumption that a relatively high potential for geothermal energy was to be found and explored. The objective of the project was therefore to support the Government of Rwanda in the development of a strategy for the geothermal energy subsector and support the institutional, legal and regulatory framework with a particular focus on options for private sector engagement.

The unsuccessful drillings and the subsequently review of all geothermal data available conducted by Iceland GeoSurvey (ISOR) made an adjustment of the activity necessary. The key findings and recommendations – no indication of high temperature reservoirs in Rwanda – and the analysis done by the ISOR were taken into account when presenting the findings of the sector analysis and option papers to relevant stakeholders during a strategy workshop in December 2014. The workshop participants discussed the implications on development costs and generation tariffs using the different scenarios developed with the latest data analysis by ISOR (low temperature sources resulting in a tariff likely to rise to 20 or more US cent/kWh). Additionally the importance of private sector participation models for possible geothermal development were presented and discussed.

Following the strategic workshop in December the project presented a first draft Action Plan for future geothermal development in Rwanda. It is planned to discuss the Action Plan during a meeting with the relevant partners at the beginning of April including a decision paper for the Minister to enact.

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