What you need to know:
Energy minister Ruth Nankabirwa this week unveiled Uganda’s ETP at the ongoing Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, which intends to shift 94 percent of the population that is using biomass to clean renewable energy sources
A section of experts from the energy and extractive industry have tasked the government to reduce the cost of acquiring clean energy like solar panels, gas cylinders and electricity, to enable an inclusive implementation of the newly-unveiled Energy Transition Plan (ETP).
Energy minister Ruth Nankabirwa this week unveiled Uganda’s ETP at the ongoing Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, which intends to shift 94 percent of the population that is using biomass to clean renewable energy sources.
Experts, who attended yesterday’s symposium on just energy transition planning for sustainable development in Kampala, said the government’s target of boosting the country’s renewable energy capacity to 52 Gigawatts (GW) by 2040 will not be attained unless the issue of affordability is solved.
The deputy executive director of the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (Acode), Mr Onesmus Mugyenyi, said the government should be realistic and ensure that all the policies and other programmes address the issue of cost that is affecting people.
“We should ensure that the local population understand the entire transition plan by sensitising all people to know their roles and this should correspond with people’s standards of living where majority are using biomass,” he said.
The energy and extractive industries coordinator at Oxfam, Mr Magara Siragi Luyima, said all efforts should be made towards enabling Ugandans migrate from the current biofuels they are using but in an inclusive manner.
“Energy transition plan should spell out equitable solutions to ensure that even the rural people who are heavily dependent on wood and charcoal are able to access affordable clean energy like electricity, gas and solar,” he said.
He added: “This calls for public financing, blended financing for the private sector which will help to reduce the cost of accessing electricity. There should be a deliberate effort of introducing affordable gas cylinders like those of Shs40,000 unlike the current that costs over Shs100,000 and this will enable even the local people to buy them.”
Government, in July 2022, launched a Shs900b project where it planned to distribute at least one million Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinders and burners to Ugandans in a bid to use clean energy, a project that has never been fully implemented.
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics in 2020 estimated that 38 percent of the population were using solar energy, an increment from 18 percent that were reported in 2018.