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Modelling and Optimization of Clean and Affordable Electricity Solution for Small-Scale Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs)

Xiaomei Lin1, Samuel Bimenyimana2,*, Chen Wang2, Godwin Norense Osarumwensa Asemota3,4, Jeanne Paula Ihirwe5, Aphrodis Nduwamungu3, Etienne Ntagwirumugara6, Athanase Gace6, Changfu Yuan7, Yaowen Chen7, Changtai Li8, Shilpi Bora9, YiYi Mo10, Jiyu Lai11, Mabao Wu7, Yong Tang12, Merit M. Huang13

1 College of Science and Technology, The Open University of Fujian, Fuzhou, 350013, China
2 Intelligence and Automation in Construction Provincial Higher–Educational Engineering Research Centre, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, 361021, China
3 African Centre of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development, University of Rwanda, Kigali, 4285, Rwanda
4 Morayo College, Nairobi, 999070, Kenya
5 Department of Economics and Management, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, 300401, China
6 College of Science and Technology, University of Rwanda, Kigali, 4285, Rwanda
7 Fujian Baichuan Construction Technology Co., Ltd., Huli, Xiamen, 361021, China
8 Haoqi (Xiamen) Construction Technology Co., Ltd., Haicang, Xiamen, 361021, China
9 School of Design, Ajeenkiya D Y Patil University, Pune, 412105, India
10 College of Civil Engineering, Huaqiao University, Xiamen, 361021, China
11 College of Transportation and Civil Engineering, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, 350100, China
12 Highway Southeast Engineering Co., Ltd., Xiamen, 361100, China
13 Fuzhou Sinotom Information Technology Co., Ltd., Fuzhou, 350001, China

* Corresponding Author: Samuel Bimenyimana. Email: email

Energy Engineering 2023, 120(4), 791-810.


Renewable energy exploitation is among the development strategies set by the government of Rwanda on the roadmap to 2023/2024 universal electricity access and the United Nations plans by 2030. Numerous previous studies on clean energy technologies in Rwanda have mostly focused on households’ usage but there are currently no studies describing the feasibility of clean energy technologies for financial institutions. The skepticism on renewable energy in Africa was previously reported by some personnel. Having realized that most SACCOs (Savings and Credit Co-Operatives) in Rwanda use diesel technology for backup/emergency electricity supply, taking consideration of abundant solar resources in Rwanda, having seen the viability and feasibility studies from other countries of renewable energy for different institutions (financial included); this work uses the HOMER Energy Software and the electricity load profile of a typical SACCO in Rwanda to analyse the affordability and viability of on-site renewable energy generation for SACCO in Rwanda. The results reveal that a solar PV system with storage can be the optimal solution (with levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of 0.713 $/kWh which is cheaper than 0.73 $/kWh for diesel technology) for SACCOs located in both off-grid areas and grid-connected areas (with 0.041 $/kWh LCOE which is lower than the current electricity tariff in Rwanda). The findings in this work can serve as basic tools/materials for policy drafters in Rwanda on how financial institutions can contribute to climate change mitigation through self-renewable energy exploitation.


Cite This Article

Lin, X., Bimenyimana, S., Wang, C., Norense, G., Ihirwe, J. P. et al. (2023). Modelling and Optimization of Clean and Affordable Electricity Solution for Small-Scale Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs). Energy Engineering, 120(4), 791–810.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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