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Current sources of energy

The current sources of energy for Uganda are as follows:
•    Fuel wood           93%
•    Imported fuel        6%
•    Electricity             1%
Only 6-7 per cent of households are electrified and only 1-2 % of the rural households use electricity. The rural households therefore  depend on fuel wood for their daily  energy supply .

There are various social, economic, environmental and technical issues  relating to  bio fuel production and use which have been discussed in the  media and scientific journals. The issues  include the following among others:
•    The effect of moderating oil prices,
•    The “food vs fuel” debate
•    Poverty reduction potential
•    Carbon emissions levels
•    Sustainable bio fuel production
•    Deforestation and soil erosion
•    Loss of biodiversity
•    Impact on water resources
•    Energy balance and efficiency.

The government  after taking all issues into account has decided to go ahead with the bio fuel exploitation as there are more advantages in favour of oil exploitation.

Hydro Electricity
The use of hydro electricity in Uganda is limited to a small portion of the population and the consumers are mainly in the urban areas.  Over 90 % of the rural population still use paraffin lanterns for lighting and firewood for cooking. Most organisations operating  in Uganda  still require   backup generators for operation of their businesses.

The bulk  of the hydroelectricity  is generated by the Nalubaale Power Station at Owen Falls Dam (  rated at 180 Megawatts’ (MW)) and Kiira Power Station ( rated at  200MW) both located near each other at Jinja.
The two plants are expected to reduce the frequency of load shedding in the country …

Charcoal and Fuel Wood
Majority of  Ugandans  including those living in urban areas rely on wood fuel (fire wood and charcoal) as their primary source of energy for heating, cooking and lighting.  The dependency  on fuel wood   has a negative impact on the country trees . The trees have been cut down for firewood without a replanting programme in place .

Uganda imports all its petroleum products through Kenya (85%) and Tanzania (15%) by the use of  trucks. The fuel is pumped  from the port of Mombasa through an oil pipeline to Eldoret, Kenya from where it is picked ,  by trucks  across the border into Uganda.  There are plans  for Uganda to produce its own fuel for domestic consumption within the next 2-3 years..

Uganda is blessed with plenty of sunshine giving solar radiation of about 4-5 kWh/m2/day. This level of  radiation is quite favourable for solar technology applications. There is limited use of solar energy in some establishment  in Uganda mainly for  water heating, cooling and crop drying. The full potential for solar  for energy has not been exploited.

Wind energy
This form of energy  has not been exploited  in Uganda despite the good speeds of wind in some areas..)

Natural gas.
There is little work  which has been done to establish  Uganda potential in this area. Nuclear power.

The country’s energy policy allows the country to consider the possibility of  developing nuclear power for  purposes of generating electricity.

The country has not yet exploited the potential of using  solid waste, wood, and agricultural waste to produce power.  There is plenty of waste generated especially  in the urban areas which could be used for power generation power.

Geothermal power.
Uganda has a number of hot springs spread all over the country which implies some potential for geothermal power. The country has therefore the potential for  heat energy buried underneath the earth’s surface which heats the water in the hot springs..

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