Govt urged to make solar viable alternative to hydro power

Wednesday March 31 2021
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Solar energy is a resource that is not only sustainable for energy consumption but renewable.

By Sam Caleb Opio

Uganda needs to tap into renewable energy as a backup to hydro power, the Commissioner Vocational Training Safina Musenero has said. 

Speaking at the launch of the Solar Renewable Energy Skills and Environmental Education Programme at Don Bosco Vocational Institute in Kamuli District, Dr Musenero said government needs to put a coordinated and responsive system that can tap into the renewable energy since the pace of hydro power penetration has been a little slow. Solar energy, she added, because of its stability, will be a good backup for hydro energy, especially in rural setups, where power stability has been a problem. 

“We need to tap into renewable energy as back up since only 29 per cent of Ugandans are accessing hydro power energy,” she said, noting that the rural electrification project has been slow due to the cost involved.
 
The Solar Renewable Energy Skills and Environmental Education Programme, which has so far passed out 62 solar energy electricians in the districts of Kamuli, Luweero (Bombo) and Lamwo, is part of the larger plan that seek to promote solar energy as an alternative energy resource. 
The programme which is run under a partnership between Don Bosco Kamuli Vocational Institute, Sendea Academy and support from Austrian Development Cooperation, will seek before the end of the year to at least pass out 200 solar experts. 
Dr Musenero also noted that government will work closely with solar related training institutions as a way of standardising operations of solar energy as well as creating a buffer for other energy sources.

Ms Loy Florence Kyozaire, the Sendea Academy chief executive officer, challenged government to support solar related initiatives as well as establishing supportive policy instruments to enhance harvesting of solar energy, which can be an alternative source of energy, especially in rural areas. 
Uganda has a renewable energy production potential of about 5,300 Megawatts. 

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