Renewable Energy Dissemination and Analysis of the Energy Needs for the Poor in Burundi Par P. Niyongabo , NS. Generose , J. A. Manigomba
Abstract : Today, there is a significant lack of information in the open and grey literature pertaining to energy scenarios and development in addressing the energy needs for the poor in Burundi.
The role of the energy sector in the implementation of the socio-economic development policies is enormous and cannot be achieved as long as the development of the renewable energy is low. The energy problems in Burundi are both serious and widespread. The lack of access to sufficient and sustainable energy supplies affects much of the majority of the population of Burundi. More than 80 percent of Burundians do not have electricity and the rate of access to electricity is very low. This number remains dependent on traditional biomass to meet their energy needs. Food security, energy security, economic growth and environmental protection must be the national energy policy drivers of Burundi since the country’s population growth was 3.1% in 2020. Without efficient and clean energy, people cannot engage effectively in productive activities or improve their quality of life.
Burundi is facing two crucial problems in the energy sector. The first is the widespread inefficient and unsustainable production, and use of traditional energy sources which pose economic, environmental, and health threats. The second is the high inequality distribution and use of modern energy sources, such as electricity and petroleum products, which pose important issues of economy, equity, and of life quality. To address these issues, we present a successful analysis and recommend that the government should support market-oriented approaches that would make energy to be equally accessible and attractive to local and international investors and consumers.
Besides, the paper presents the renewable energy technologies disseminated in Burundi and evaluates the potential of renewable energies in meeting the energy needs for the poor. For readers who are unfamiliar with Burundi, we introduce the paper with an overview on the geographic and social-economic profiles of the country. Access to renewables in Burundi has been hindered by a combination of factors which include poor infrastructures, inadequate renewable energy technologies planning policies, high initial capital costs, weak dissemination strategies, lack of skilled manpower, poor baseline information, and weak maintenance service and infrastructure. This paper is useful to policy makers, local and international investors, scientists and engineers in the energy sector.