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Saturday,August 15,2020 13:35 PM

Energy crisis can end with enterprises

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th January 2009 03:00 AM

ENERGY is the engine of societal development. It is the basis on which power houses evolve, it cooks the food we eat, heats and lights households, schools, hospitals and powers our industries.

ENERGY is the engine of societal development. It is the basis on which power houses evolve, it cooks the food we eat, heats and lights households, schools, hospitals and powers our industries.

Musa Wamala

ENERGY is the engine of societal development. It is the basis on which power houses evolve, it cooks the food we eat, heats and lights households, schools, hospitals and powers our industries.

Statistics available at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, show that Uganda’s electrification rate is among the lowest in the world, with grid access of only 9% of Uganda’s population and 3% in rural areas.

Only 293,004 households of the 5,511,735 households in Uganda have access to grid electricity with an annual growth rate estimated to be between 5.5% and 7.5%. Only 1% of the population gets electricity. Others use diesel, petrol generators, car batteries and solar photovoltaic systems.

Access to energy services is essential for development and provides major benefits in the areas of health, literacy and equity.

The major concern for energy use in rural and peri-urban areas is inaccessibility and unaffordability for modern energy services. Within this context, renewable energy technologies, solar-based, thermal and photovoltaic, biomass based biofuels like biogas, briquettes and pellets, improved cook stoves and hydro-based micro and pico hydros are the most cost-effective solutions and are good options for providing services for the under and un-served people.

For people in the rural and peri-urban areas who are very far from the main grid, decentralised mini-grid, stand-alone distributions and energy provision approaches are the way to go.
Given that Uganda’s energy problem is deepening, developing energy enterprises in rural and peri-urban areas is the solution to this crisis.

Since early 2008, the implementation of energy development projects have been picking up, learning from each other and from experiences in the field, and has widely recognised that introducing an ‘enterprise’ based solution to energy access in rural areas will be the major breakthrough to the ever deepening energy crisis.

New entrepreneurs interested in initiating energy enterprises are being identified and supported through training and mentoring to help create a chain of suppliers and sellers of energy products and services.

The writer is a country manager, Emerging Market Economics

Energy crisis can end with enterprises

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