Institute for University Cooperation (ICU)

Electrification of the rural areas of Burundi

The project supported electrification of the rural areas of Burundi through the activation of two micro and two mini hydropower plants, photovoltaic reinforcement, extension of rural grid, connection to the national grid and capacity building.

The overall problem addressed by the project by ICU and ABER is Burundi rural energy poverty. The targeted barriers are: limited energy access (2%); limited national energy supply (31MW) compared to demand and hydropower generation potential (300MW); poor/out-of-order hydropower plants; limited management capacities; limited revenues for ABER, local public utility in charge of rural electrification; poor bankability of ABER’s business.

The project activities included replacement of damaged equipment and hydropower plants reactivation at rated capacity of all plants, realization of 4km 400 VAC LV power-line and 1km extension of 30kV MV power-line in Kigwena, 160 250Wp photovoltaic panels installation in Nyabikere, ABER maintenance/management capacity development.


Outcome and Impact:

This project achieved reduced emissions by 594,082 tCO2eq annually. The project impacted 933, in addition to creating 25 direct jobs. 0.552 MWh/y electricity generated from renewable energy systems installed.



Total Project Budget

EUR 2 127 875

EEP Africa Financing

EUR 594 255


Hybrid (solar, hydropower)


Scale-up Project

Project Period

2015 - 2017