The report presented by the outgoing Kitgum District Chairperson Jackson Omona shows a total of 13,188 households were by the end of last year using off-grid solar products for lighting and other uses. It equally showed an increment of solar usage in the district by more than ten times from the 2,041 households surveyed in 2016 that were found to be using solar energy in rural and urban areas.
Patricia Ejalu, the Deputy Executive Director at Uganda National Bureau of Standards-UNBS, is optimistic that the review will allow solar product users, traders and manufacturers to have an input into the process and ease enforcement of the new standards. This, she adds, will guarantee the safety of solar product users.
The scientists argue that the net-zero emissions needed to stabilize the climate requires both an acceleration in the use of non-carbon energy sources and a rapid decline in the global share of fossil fuels in the energy mix. However, the global energy system is still dominated by fossil fuel sources despite extraordinary growth in renewable fuels over the past decade.
The report warns that without urgent action to reduce emissions, the occurrence of climate shocks and stresses in the Africa region are expected to get much worse adding that there is mounting evidence that higher temperatures have worsened drought and humanitarian disaster in East Africa.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, is not only a question of satisfying households basic energy needs.
The reports says achieving power sector renewable energy targets under current NDCs, requires almost USD 1.7 trillion by 2030 - USD 1.2 trillion of which is required for unconditional targets, and USD 500 billion will be needed to support targets conditional upon international support.
Dr Frank Sebbowa, a former Chief Executive Officer, in an interview expressed doubt on Ugandas ability to meet the National Development Plan aspirations. He noted the fact that power generation in the country is likely to double from the current 825 MW to 1757 by 2020.
The government plans to increase hydropower generation from the current 825 Megawatts to 2500 Megawatts in the next two years or 2020. Two flagship large hydropower projects are under construction. Karuma is expected to produce 600 MW while Isimba will have 180 MW of power generated.
Henry Jumba, an Electric Engineer with the Company says the project feasibility studies were completed in June 2016. The nine mini hydro stations are expected to produce 0.5MW - 1.5MW of electricity for use in the communities as well as supply to the main electricity grid.
Uganda is gearing up towards hosting the inaugural Future Energy Uganda conference where it is expected to showcase the enormous energy investment potential. The inaugural conference in Kampala from 12-13 September 2017 is expected to attract investors and decision makers to explore areas of renewable energy like geothermal and solar that are still under exploited.
Besides the sale of electricity to the national grid, the project is also expected to provide 15,000 farmers with an additional annual income of USD 720 2.5 million Shillings per person out of the sale of agricultural residue to the project and is expected to create 6,000 new jobs in the outskirts of Gulu Town.
Countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean say they are finding difficulties implementing the recommendations of the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2015 without financial support from the developed world.
While presenting Ugandas National Statement at the high level meeting of Heads of State, minister Sam Cheptoris who represented President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the conference, said Ugandas priority interventions on Climate Change will focus on renewable energy, climate smart agriculture, forestry, wetlands restoration, waste disposal and clean transport.
IRENA estimates that with the right enabling policies, Africa could be home to more than 70 gigawatts of solar PV capacity by 2030. The report discusses challenges in policy making and proposes a co-ordinated effort to collect data on the installed costs of solar PV in Africa, across all market segments. Such information will improve the efficiency of policy support and accelerate deployment.
Sawmills around the country have been burning wood chips and sawdust to avoid a pile up of waste but for Nyabyeya Forestry College, the wood cuttings are no longer waste. The College uses timber cutting to make something that is very rare and out of reach for many Ugandans- more than enough electricity to run operations at the college.