A low percentage of Burundi’s population has access to grid electricity, particularly in rural settings. Only one in ten Burundians have access to electricity in the country and this drops to only 2% in rural areas. Burundi’s national energy production is lower than consumption, hence the increasing need to import energy. Thus, there is a need to increase national electricity production. Energy resources that are used currently are either costly, or pose threats to the environment, such as the use of firewood. Burundi has set a goal of diversifying its primary energy mix to take advantage of favorable indigenous renewable energy resources. One of the key sources of diversification will be electricity generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, which will help to reduce carbon emissions and dependency on imported fuel, address adaptive capacity to climate change, improve energy access, and increase national generating capacity. Solar energy is available and well distributed across Burundi.
Burundi has already embarked on a nationwide solar PV-based rural electrification program. However, the program is beset by several difficulties, largely related to a shortage of trained technicians capable of properly installing and maintaining solar PV systems. As a result, installed solar PV facilities are often out of order or not performing according to their designed output, which contributed to creating negative perception of solar PV as an energy solution.
- Develop off-gird solar PV training materials;
- Train and build the capacity of the various stakeholders in the installation, use, operations and maintenance, and deployment of solar PV technologies in Burundi;
- Support Burundi’s efforts to establish the renewable energy promotion center to enhance the availability of solar energy.
Increased awareness and strengthened managerial and technical capacities around solar PV system installation and maintenance.