The Ministry for Energy and Mineral Development through the National Renewable Energy Platform (NREP) is set to host it’s second edition of the Renewable Energy Conference 2022.
The conference will run from November 3-5th next month at Kololo and is expected to be attended by about 2000 participants.
The theme of the conference is ‘Renewable Energy for Sustainable Industrialization, Inclusive Growth and Economic Recovery’.
According to the ministry, the conference will have participants comprising of energy sector stakeholders, development partners, Civil Society Organizations, private sector, academia, government and the general public.
“This year’s conference intends to create a unifying platform for innovators, scientists, investors, partners and consumers to tap into renewable energy investment in Uganda, share experience and lessons learned from others, energy solutions, engage and network with prospective partners and key decision makers as well as government representatives” the ministry says adding that the conference will also have an exhibition section with stalls to showcase products and services in line with the conference sessions.
The sessions are meant to address pressing issues in the sector and provide ways forward for promoting renewable energy for sustainable development.
UGANDA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY AT A GLANCE
The country is endowed with abundant renewable energy resources spread across the country.
Available statistics from the ministry indicate that the technical potential of renewable energy resources is hydropower standing at 4500MW, Geothermal at 450MW, biomass cogeneration at 1650MW, wind at 300MW, biomass standing stock at 460 Millon tons and solar energy at 5.1kWh/m2.
As by end of last year 2021, out of the 1346.6MW installed electricity generation capacity in Uganda, hydropower hard the lion’s share with 1072.9MW, bagasse at 111.7MW, thermal power at 101.1MW and solar at 60.9MW.
According to statistics by the ministry, about 90% of the total primary energy consumption is biomass with firewood standing at 78.6%, charcoal at 5.6% and crop residues at 4.7%. This therefore, means 84.2% Ugandans will not survive for a day if government banned use of firewood or charcoal for cooking!
Electricity contributes only 1.4% to the national energy consumption while oil products which are mainly for vehicles and thermo power plants account for 9.7%.
“It is important for us to scale up our efforts to save the environment. People must be connected to electricity if our forests are to survive. We need to act now. The percentage of those relying on biomass for cooking is terribly big” says Florence Mutyabule, Senior Presidential Advisor on Busoga in charge of poverty alleviation.
Mutyabule says not only are forests being depleted, firewood energy is also contributing to high school dropout especially among teenage girls. She said in Busoga for example, in the process of collecting firewood, some girls are defiled and end up getting unwanted pregnancies hence dropping out of school.
“Therefore, any effort to increase access to renewable energy is a good move. We need to support the ministry and ERA to realize this dream. We must save the lives of mothers who get diseases as a result of smoke. We must save our girls, we must save the environment” she said.
The ministry however, recently launched a campaign dubbed ‘Fumbisa Gaasi’ aimed at having more people and institutions using alternative energy sources in the kitchen than firewood in order to save the environment.