PIC: One of the many exhibition stalls at Kampala Serena Hotel in Kampala. (Courtesy photo)
ENERGY | SOLAR
KAMPALA - Over 40 local and international solar companies are set to showcase solutions for lighting off-grid homes and businesses at an exhibition in Kampala on Tuesday.
Exhbitors will show how you can watch TV without having grid power. And if you are into agriculture, you will get to know how you can irrigate using solar energy to realise greater harvests.
The showing, hosted by Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA) with support from USAID and Power Africa, is a side event at the Africa Energy Forum, which is also happening at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
It could not have come at a better time.
Only 5% of Uganda's population is connected to the national grid. This means that, to meet their energy needs, many of those who do have access to electricity are employing off-grid technologies such as distributed power and solar home systems.
Energy minister Irene Muloni and US ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac will check out the exhibition booths as well as deliver addresses.
UK High Commissioner Peter West and Power Africa officials will also be there.
The exhibition will demonstrate the opportunity that solar systems present for the economic growth and transformation of Uganda.
It will be open until 4:00pm local time.
Uganda's per capita electricity consumption of 157 kilowatt hours (kWh) is considerably lower than the sub-Saharan Africa per capita average of 552 kWh and
the global per capita average of 2,472 kWh.
By 2020, the government aims to achieve a national electrification rate of 30% through new on- and off-grid connections, and to increase per capita consumption
to 578 kWh.
Launched in 2013, Power Africa is a US Government-led initiative aims at expanding electricity access and generation capacity in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30,000 megawatts and 60 million new home and business connections.
Meanwhile, Energy Africa is an initiative led by the UK Government. It has been working closely with other development partners and the Ugandan government to support the growth of the off-grid solar market through the establishment of a suitable enabling environment.