Increasing electricity access to 50 percent is possible - Nankabirwa

Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, the minister of Energy

Government, through Ministry of Energy has said its goal is to increase electricity access to 51 percent by 2030. 
Only about 19 percent of Ugandans, according to the 2020 Uganda Bureau of Statistics National Household Survey, access electricity. 
This was a decrease from about 21 percent, which had been registered earlier. However, the survey noted an increase in solar usage from less than 20 percent to 31 percent. 

Government has also indicated that it will seek to cover 100 percent for all Ugandans by 20240. While launching this year’s Energy Week Conference in Kampala early this week, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, the minister of Energy, said whereas achieving such an ambitious goal was possible there is need for integrated approaches. 
This, she said, would be achieved through maximizing input in renewable energy resources and technology to enhance power supply in all the sub-sectors such as solar photovoltaic, hydro power and biomass. 

Uganda currently, she said, generates 87 percent of its electricity from hydro, solar, biomass with 90 percent of its cooking energy demand coming from solid biomass. Hydroelectricity is considered expensive, which has in a way limited access thus some users have had to seek out alternatives, among them solar. 
Ms Nankabirwa also noted that, although the private sector and development partners have led and contributed towards renewable energy development most initiatives have gained traction due to large capital demands that are needed to sustain improvements. 
In Uganda power consumption is largely consumed in urban areas, which contribute 71 percent of connections compared to 32 percent for rural areas. 

Government and development partners have been seeking to increase power consumption, especially in rural areas. 
However, the connections have remained low despite extending power to a number of rural areas across the country. 
Recently, the World Bank suspended its financing to the rural electrification programme, citing corruption and failure to achieve intended targets. 
High power tariffs, according to experts, have been one of the  main obstacles to increase in consumption. 


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