Portal de apoyo a las políticas y la gobernanza

Issue paper

Biogas systems in Rwanda – A critical review

Identifying sustainable sources of renewable energy is key to ensuring that countries can grow on a sustainable path that also meets climate change targets as outlined in countries’ NDCs.

Among renewables, bioenergy can attract investments in the rural sector and help farmers to improve their income by increasing agricultural production and diversifying markets for by-products, such as digestate. FAO’s Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) Approach assists countries in defining which bioenergy options can be both sustainable and viable while ensuring food security and protecting the environment.

In Rwanda the agriculture sector plays a key role in its economy, contributing around one-third of the country’s GDP and employing approximately 70 percent of the working population. The livestock sector is an important economic sector and agriculture sub-subsector. Driving change through this sector can provide win-win solutions to achieve poverty reduction targets.

Bringing in the energy facet through bioenergy options such as biogas can further corroborate these strategies by also addressing energy access and energy substitution targets.

After the genocide, the government worked on re-establishing the livestock sector, and in 2003 the poverty reduction strategy flagged developing a biogas programme as one of the elements the country should pursue. The programme has been ongoing until recently when a detailed review of the sector was implemented due to the relatively limited number of households implementing the systems. This report aims to shed some light on the issues around biogas viability in Rwanda and how to possibly strengthen biogas in the country.