Challenges and Issues Affecting the Exploitation of Renewable Energies in Rwanda
- Low availability of land for reforestation in Rwanda: It is estimated that in order to fill the gap between demand and supply of wood (6.719 millions m³), an additional 400,000 ha of trees need to be planted to increase the forest productivity up to an average of 15m³/ha/year. However, only about 50,000 ha is available for conventional forestry. It would be better to rely on new sources of energy and help households to be less dependent on wood. In addition, long droughts and presence of termites in certain areas threaten tree survival and create a barrier to intense reforestation with respect to ecological conditions.
- Inefficient extension services and mechanisms also pose a constraint on the success of reforestation.
- A further constraint is the lack of enthusiasm from the population towards tree planting. Even if forest products are crucial in the daily life of Rwandans, a few people care for the well being of forests. This lack of interest towards trees and forests is probably linked to the lack of capacity of the forestry and agricultural extension service to provide farmers with required forestry/agroforestry techniques.
- The profitability of reforestation is uncertain and distant, which are two major weaknesses of the sector. The prolonged time that forest investment takes to earn returns is probably the strongest. In respect to this assertion, it is likely that sustainable forestry advocated in this policy will remain, for a long time, in the hands of the State. However based on the development of biotechnology, it would be possible to cope with this factor.
-> See also here.
- GTZ (2007): Eastern Africa Resource Base: GTZ Online Regional Energy Resource Base: Regional and Country Specific Energy Resource Database: II - Energy Resource.