The facility is seen as one way that will save the country's small remaining green environment.
LUWERO - The energy ministry has opened Uganda's first biogas and renewable energy technologies demonstration site at Ndejje University in Luwero district.
The facility's renewable energy technologies include solar energy, wind power, briquettes and biogas.
Moses Mulengezi, an advisor in the energy ministry, said Uganda is endowed with vast natural resources but that human practices like deforestation are wiping out this wealth.
He underlined that the main focus of the United Nation's sustainable energy for all programme is to have all households using renewable energy by 2030.
Uganda has an abundance of energy resources, including hydropower, biomass, solar, geothermal, peat and fossil fuels.
The energy resource potential of the country includes an estimated 2,000 MW of hydro power, 450 MW of geothermal, 1,650 MW of biomass cogeneration, 460 million tons of biomass standing stock with a sustainable annual yield of 50 million tons, an average of 5.1 kWh/m2 of solar energy, and about 250 MW of peat (800 MW).
Biomass accounts for 94% of the total energy consumption in the country.
Charcoal is mainly used in the urban areas while firewood, agro-residues and wood wastes are widely used in the rural areas.
Government started a programme under the free rural electrification to give free electricity connection to households that are near electricity poles.
“The renewable energy site will however help in the access of clean energy such as solar energy and biogass,” said Mulengezi.
How the lab works
Patrick Mulindwa, a lecturer of chemical engineering at Ndejje University, says the facility is to be used for testing and analyzing composition of substances such as samples of cow dung and briquettes are subjected to testing before the final products are set for use by the public.
The lab is seen as one way that will save the country's small remaining green environment.
Prof. Eliabu Lugujjo, the vice-chancellor of Ndejje University, says the facility will be an information centre for students, the community and university staff seeking to knowledge about renewable energy technologies.
“Considering that the university has students specialising in renewable energy, we should be able to see an increase in the use of renewable energies such as geothermal power, solar energy and wind power among others,” he explains.
He feels the university’s administration should allow other universities and institutions of learning to access the laboratory since it is a one-stop center for hands-on training in renewable energy.
The demonstration site was set up by Ndejje University in partnership with Uganda National Renewable Energy and Energy efficiency Alliance Energy Efficiency Alliance UNREEEA, MEMD and GIZ under the ministry of energy and mineral Development.
Its primary aim is to promote sustainable use of energy for social economic empowerment, increased access to renewable energy and efficient utilisation of the existing energy resources.