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Rwanda’s green energy sector could create 31,000 jobs annually – report

With ambitions of investing in renewable energy in Rwanda in the build-up to 2030, a new report has noted that the sector could lead to the creation of around 31,000 direct jobs every year.

Dubbed “Employment assessment of renewable energy”, the report was prepared by Global Green Growth Institute.

The study and report notes that to reach renewable energy targets that can create such a number of jobs requires a direct domestic investment of $ 645 million in large hydro and solar projects.

Rwamagana solar power plant that provides 8.5MW.

This study was aimed at assessing the employment creation potential of renewable energy technologies based on future power sector scenarios for Rwanda, Mexico and Indonesia.

Goals of this study included estimating the jobs that can be created by selected renewable energy technologies compared to selected fossil fuel-based technologies.

The study identified and assessed the occupation and skills requirement by the renewable energy sector for each stage of the value chain.

It provides estimates of the required investments for achieving renewable energy targets set up by Rwanda’s climate plan in the next 10 years.

The climate plan dubbed “National Determined Contributions” was recently submitted to The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as part of implementing Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius with an ambition to contain any increase at below 1.5 degrees.

“The additional 171 MW renewable energy capacity required under the high ambition scenario will generate around 31,000 direct jobs. Direct investments in green energy under this scenario could generate around $316 million in value-added to the Rwandan economy,” reads part of the report

Under the set ambitions, most of the direct jobs, around 69%, that will be generated in large hydro and solar projects will be in construction and installation.

The report highlights that in addition, operations and maintenance is estimated to create around 22 per cent of all direct job, whereas project development and equipment, manufacturing and distribution create 6 per cent and 3 per cent of all direct job.

As part of mitigating climate change, investing in renewable energy could potentially reduce greenhouse emissions that cause global warming.

“Reducing greenhouse emissions by enhancing renewable energy generation could also contribute to job creation and become a driving force of countries’ economic growth,” says the report.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the power sector contributes to 42 per cent of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

The study concludes that more than 75 per cent of the direct jobs generated from solar PV technology relate to the technical and non-professional workforce requiring medium to low skill sets.

“Therefore, less than 25 per cent of the direct jobs that can be created relate to high skill occupations such as engineers and management professionals,” the report adds.

The implementation of National climate plan, in the next 10 years, requires $11 billion (Rwf10.2 trillion).

The total estimated cost for mitigation measures is estimated at around $5.7 billion, and over $5.3 billion for adaptation priorities.

Government also has plans to invest $206 million in the installation of solar mini-grids that could supply 68 MW (Mega Watt) in off-grid rural areas by 2030, as reflected in the Rural Electrification Strategy while $36 million is estimated to go to generation of energy from waste.

Rwanda has planned to invest $285 million in the use of solar water pumping systems for irrigation within agricultural production to replace diesel pumps and fossil fuel.

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