By Patrick Jaramogi
Energy shortfalls are set to be reduced further in the country following interventions to set up a modern solar assembling plant in Kampala.
New Vision has established that the Euro 4m (shs18b) will be initiated by Clean Energy Partnership Africa (CEPA) a local renewable energy firm in partnership with J.v.G Thoma GmbH German based leading renewable energy company.
According to statistics there has been a rise on demand for solar power especially in rural areas. But the demand seems to be shifting to the urban as well due to continues outages experienced by urban dwellers of late.
Martin Erone Manager Legal services Uganda Electricity Transmission Company (UETCL) said renewable energy is the only way to go. “The demand for power increases everyday yet that demand can’t be fully met. We need constant investment in energy and renewable sources such as solar are appropriate,” he said.
David Ebong the Chief Executive said once in place the price of solar panels and installations that are considered expensive will reduce due to local manufacturing.
“Solar is considered expensive still due to installation and panels costs. But with a plant in Kampala, supplies will increase and cost will definitely go down,” said Ebong.
Ebong who was addressing stakeholders at a retreat held at Nob View Hotel in Ntinda on Friday noted that all paper works were ready for the plant to be set up. “We are finalizing a few funding issues with our development partners regarding the solar panel assembling plant,” said Ebong
He said CEPA had already set up a 1.5 megawatt solar energy plant in Apac district. Ebong said the power got from the Solar will also be used to power an industrial park in Apac district.
“The Euro 6m plant that will be supported by a 10 kilowatt powered biogas plant will be instrumental in helping the fishing villages near Lake Kyoga and River Nile get clean water,” he said.
Fortunate Sarah the CEPA Business Development Manager said the solar power panels from Germany can withstand temperatures ranging beyond 145 degrees centigrade, making it viable for agro-industries, schools, hospitals, water sanitation and irrigation in semi- arid areas like northern Uganda.
Ebong observed that Ugandans have had a bad perception of solar due to “fake” solar panels in the market.
“We made a research and discovered that most solar panels can’t withstand temperatures above 25 degrees centigrade yet sometimes our temperatures shoot up to 42 degrees. With these panels, heat temperatures from 125-145 can be tolerated,” he said.