July 22nd, 2014 will remain memorable in the History of Uganda, when the UN Foundation in partnership with WWF through the energy access practitioner network, converged energy sector practitioners in Uganda and other East African Countries of; Kenya and Tanzania to discuss the way forward” Towards Universal Energy Access in Uganda”. This took place at Protea Hotel in Kampala bringing together over Ninety (90) participants including government representatives, civil society organizations and Energy Business companies. Among other Participating organizations were; IDEASForUganda represented by Isaac Sinamakosa and Matovu Paul, WWF-Uganda, UN Foundation, Uganda Bureau of standards (UBOS), Uganda Manufacturers association (UMA), BBOXX, Fenix International, Solar sisters, Solar Now, One Degree solar, UNICEF, Innovation Africa, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Energy, Media representatives, and of course the Guest of Honor; Hon. Minister for energy & Mineral Development Eng. Irene Muloni.
The workshop Moderated by the UN Foundation senior Director for Energy access, Jem Porcaro and Energy access Officer Aneri Patel, focused at; Policy framework in the Ugandan context-setting the right enabling environment, Cracking the distribution challenge-creating supply chains for energy access, Innovations in consumer financing: pay-as-you-go and energy service models for success, Energy & women’s Health-Energy for health facilities, and coming up with a way forward that will facilitate universal Energy access in Uganda.
Among other challenges highlighted in the Uganda Renewable energy sector were; very low energy access at 12% contributing to the 20000 deaths resulting from in-door pollution annually, Low access to electricity at 15% whereby rural electrification rate is just at 5%, inadequate transmission and distribution infrastructure, Low demand for clean energy by local people and low quality solar materials penetrating the market.
The towards energy access for all workshop, among others reached the following way forward;
• Tasking government to remove taxes on importation of renewable energy technologies.
• All local governments to wave off taxes from clean/renewable energy dealers, as already implemented by Kasese District local government.
• Able stakeholders to create solar hubs that can supply to the main grid.
• Stimulating demand by all for renewable energy through robust awareness.
• Influencing donors at both regional and international levels to consider energy investment as a priority.
• Localizing the supply chain of renewable energy through reducing distance of access to technologies by local/rural customers, by creating village/locally based shops.
– IDEAS For Uganda