Rwanda government has commenced drilling at three potential geothermal wells located at the slopes of Mt. Karisimbi in Kabatwa Sector, Nyabihu District.

The new developments are said to be a part of nation’s efforts to boost electricity capacity through exploration of renewable energy sources.

Rwanda Minister for Infrastructure Prof. Silas Lwakabamba told that the country is expecting to gain some cheap, accessible and reliable energy with geothermal extraction.

"This is a milestone because we are entering a new phase and we hope that it will be productive. We believe this will change the cost of energy supply in Rwanda," added Lwakabamba.

Rwanda is estimated to have geothermal potential of more than 700MW, according to the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), which was contracted to conduct preliminary study earlier in 2011.

Kinigi in Musanze District, Gisenyi in Rubavu District and Bugarama in Ngororero District are reported to be potential geothermal sites.

Lwakabamba claimed that the Belgian government expressed interest in supporting Kinigi geothermal energy exploration.

"Geothermal energy is something which has been owned for many years, many countries started drilling about hundred years ago; for instance, Somaliland, New Zealand and eastern America, among others," revealed Lwakabamba.