Research Training Partnership with University of Rwanda – Capacity Development in Sustainable Energy
Research Project, 2019 – 2024

Access to electricity is a critical factor in enabling socio-economic development. Over the last couple of decades, rapid economic growth in Rwanda has put pressure on the energy sector and the country now needs to increase its generation capacity and expand transmission and distribution networks to meet quickly growing demand. Only 16% of Rwanda’s households are connected to the grid and the large rural population, a burgeoning industrialisation and the hilly topography require a combination of large- and small-scale, on-grid and off-grid energy systems. This Research Training Partnership (RTP) aims to establish coherent and well-organised post-graduate research training in Sustainable Energy. The aim is to build research and teaching capacity within prioritised areas of engineering and interdisciplinary energy research. In this five-year programme, the focus is placed on one key theme: Smart electrification for rural development using locally available renewable energy resources appropriate to Rwanda. Expertise is built in bioenergy, solar, hydropower, flexible and adaptable grids, and on policy and finance preconditions, energy demand and entrepreneurship, and social and environmental impacts. The approach of combining problem-oriented engineering studies of technical systems with interdisciplinary energy system studies responds to the evidence that current traditional engineering training in the East African region is less relevant to address challenges brought about by the ever changing social and economic dynamics, advancement in technology and impacts of climate change. The RTP’s main output is the graduation of 5 PhD students and further training of 3 postdocs, evaluation and improvement of existing Master program, creation of a dynamic research culture resulting in international publications, joint research projects and a mechanism for translating research to real world solutions in partnership with community members, the energy sector and civil society. Other regional partners are Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique and Strathmore University in Kenya.


Helene Ahlborg (contact)

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Erik Ahlgren

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Jimmy Ehnberg

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

Sylvere Hategekimana

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Daniela Michael

Chalmers, Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development

Sverker Molander

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Samuel John Unsworth

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis


Jönköping University

Jönköping, Sweden

University of Gothenburg

Gothenburg, Sweden

University of Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda



Project ID: FP1924_35
Funding Chalmers participation during 2019–2024


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