In Rwanda, a New Emission Reductions Agreement Will Boost Drive for Universal Energy Access

07 March 2023

In Rwanda, a New Emission Reductions Agreement Will Boost Drive for Universal Energy Access

Rwanda’s efforts to expand renewable energy and clean cooking in underserved areas of the country will pay off under an Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement with the World Bank.

Under the agreement, signed in October 2022, the Bank’s Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) will purchase greenhouse gas emissions reductions generated as a result of the distribution of solar home systems and clean and efficient cook stoves in Rwanda. The funding will be used to subsidize the distribution and sale of an additional 10,000 off-grid connections and an additional 300,000 efficient and clean cook stoves expected to benefit 310,000 low-income households.

Virtually all Rwandan households cook with biomass, mainly firewood, which has health implication s, contributes to CO2 emissions, and exacerbates deforestation. Distribution of efficient and clean cook stoves can reduce consumption of firewood, reduce CO2 emissions, and conserve valued forests. Off-grid solutions—like solar home systems—can provide electrification for millions of people who reside in remote rural areas far from the electricity grid. They also reduce reliance on polluting fossil fuels, like kerosene, which are often used for electrification in the absence of grid access in Rwanda.

The Government of Rwanda is providing the off-grid solar home systems and clean cook stoves through two World Bank-supported projects, the Renewable Energy Fund Project and the Energy Access and Quality Improvement Project. Revenue from the sale of emission reductions is expected to flow through existing arrangements and mechanisms, scaling up the ambitions of the prevailing World Bank projects.

The emission reductions will be generated under the Standardized Crediting Framework (SCF), replacing the Clean Development Mechanism, which doesn’t apply to emission reductions generated after 2020. It will help ensure environmental integrity of the greenhouse gas emission reductions that will be purchased by Ci-Dev. Rwanda completed a successful pilot of this simplified, streamlined successor to the Clean Development Mechanism for energy access technologies in 2019. This pilot established the governance system, procedures, and a basic level of technical documentation of the SCF.


Photo Credit: World Bank