We should focus on solar photovoltaic systems

Uganda is endowed with renewable energy resources for power generation and provision of energy services.

The estimated total electric potential is about 5300 MW. However, these resources remain largely untapped, mainly due to perceived technical and financial risks.

Despite the abundance of solar energy, its use as a source of energy and heat is still limited. The response to solar power programs has been minimal due to insufficient funds and lack of solar power policies to raise public awareness despite the need caused by population growth, urbanization and economic growth.

The escalation of oil prices on the international market, which imposes a heavy burden on the economy and limits the budgets of individual consumers, should be a revelation for the government. The government must plan and invest more in clean renewable energy for sustainable development.

Furthermore, fossil fuels have an uncertain future. Studies show that if the world continues to consume energy at the current rate, non-renewable sources will be depleted in the near future.

Oil should only last 40 more years. Natural gas may be available for the next 70 years and coal may be available for the next 280 years.

Solar power can play an important role in a secure and diverse energy future for Uganda as the country becomes a hub of industrialization.

Specifically, photovoltaic (pv) systems could play a unique role in Uganda’s energy mix. Its potential to easily add storage could unlock dispatchable and baseload power, paving the way for greater renewables penetration.

Using the potential of solar PV energy will help protect the environment and safeguard public health, especially the health of children, pregnant women, the elderly and other vulnerable populations, as well as those who work and play outside.

Three main factors that energy markets take into account when choosing energy sources are the cost of energy, ancillary services and the ability to dispatch electricity on demand.

Obviously, for energy investors, the competitive cost of energy is the most important issue. And since PV is much cheaper than concentrated solar power (CSP), more and more energy investors are choosing it. This trend of investors choosing PV over CSP will continue as long as PV remains cheaper. And it looks like it will continue because photovoltaic panels have recently shown a steep price drop of around 30-40% in just a few years.

Besides the cost, energy market players have also reported that photovoltaic systems are much easier to build. Building them is cheap and doesn’t take too long. CSP plants need more space for large-scale applications, and they also have greater risks such as higher investment, thermal shortage and cooling problems.

By powering millions of homes and businesses, renewable energy reduces the threat of climate change and makes the air safer to breathe. A familiar part of the landscape and solar panels have spread across rooftops across the country. Yet we have only begun to harness the potential of clean energy alternatives to reduce pollution from climate change and support economic growth in Uganda.

Despite these advantages, there is still much to be done to sustainably develop PV.

The Uganda National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Alliance (UNREEEA) is expected to help bring the benefits of renewable energy to more communities.

The government should consistently expand and support existing policies that are triggering the growth of solar power, working at the state level to ensure renewable energy standards, promote net metering (which allows solar consumers to sell excess electricity they produce on the grid) and encourage officials to develop robust plans to reduce carbon pollution.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development should support incentives that drive innovation in renewable energy and push for a federal standard that would require 30% of all Ugandan electricity to be generated from solar energy by 2030.

And part of increasing solar power is also ensuring that the power plants and the transmission network needed to support them are carefully designed and sited to minimize impacts on wildlife, which we strive to ‘mitigate. energy goals and adopting financial structures that encourage clean and renewable energy projects.

The implementation of the renewable energy policy will respond positively to the various instruments and programs that fight poverty, catalyze industrialization and protect the environment. These include the Constitution, Poverty Eradication and Action Plan, Sustainable Development Goals, Electricity Act 1999, National Environment Act 1995, the agricultural modernization program and the Kyoto protocol.

Fighting climate change by reducing carbon pollution is the best way to build a better world for our communities and future generations.

Edward N. Arrington