The paper presents evidence from the performance assessment of two solar energy interventions. Specifically, an evidence base was built around two community co-conceived standalone photovoltaic-battery systems, which were deployed in two refugee camps in Rwanda. We found that for both installations (a micro-grid and a community hall electrification system) energy consumption levels were low, showing that sizeable energy consumption gaps can still develop when co-conceived interventions are deployed. The consumption gap led to low-performance ratios (33% and 25% respectively for the micro-grid and community hall system). To guide further work and improve the sustainability of community interventions, we draw a number of design principles for future energy interventions in similar contexts. To deliver sustainable energy transitions for refugees, there needs to be amove towards co-creating community interventions that promote self-governance to position communities as users, maintainers and suppliers of energy services, throughout an intervention’s lifetime.
To cite: Nixon, J.D., Bhargava, K., Halford, A., and Gaura, E. (2021) ‘The challenges of community-based solar energy interventions: Lessons from two Rwandan Refugee Camps’. Energy for Sustainable Development, 65: 175-184
Back to Outputs & publications page