The District of Kasese in Uganda population of 723,400(2016) has recently been the center of local and international initiatives that are aiming to radically transform the district by supplying the energy needs of its population only via renewable energy sources by 2020.
According to the Mayor of the municipality of Kasese this ambitious target will be achieved by adopting a wide variety of different renewable sources such as biomass, solar, geothermal and mini hydroelectric technologies. Kasese aims at becoming a model that other municipality will be able to adopt to eradicate poverty which is strictly related to the lack of access to energy. Furthermore developing an energy supply based on renewable energy sources will help the region overcoming issues related to local deforestation, land degradation as well as health issues which are strongly connected to the uncontrolled use of charcoal, firewood and kerosene, the main energy sources used in the region for cooking and for domestic electricity production.
In facts, only 7% of the households in Kasese have access to the electricity grid while 97% of the people use firewood and charcoal for cooking and 85% of households use kerosene for lighting. It should also be reminded that the average electricity consumption per capita in Uganda is 8 times lower than Africa’s average (578kWh) and over 40 times lower than the world’s average (2,752 kWh) per capita. All of these factors demonstrate how dealing with the 100% Renewable Energy target in this region acquires a completely different role than in industrialized countries: it is many often about providing access to the energy in regions where access to energy is still a privilege. Within this context developing strategies and implementation models to tackle the energy poverty issue through renewable energy has the potential to have enormous beneficial impacts for the local social and economic development.
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Monday, July 20th, 2015