- Majority of the households in Uganda are still stuck to use of charcoal and firewood as main source of energy
- Few people in urban centers are shifting to use of electricity or gas cookers
- Today, 1 billion people still live without access to electricity and 3 billion have no access to clean cooking fuels
By Edwin Mumbere
Kasese- As the energy sector is transforming, there is a growing concern that sustainable energy is a catalyst for achieving most Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is therefore crucial for better health, education, jobs, food production and conservation, as well as water use and quality.
This transformation involves decentralized solutions that are changing how people interact with each other and their energy providers. It influences the role of citizens not only as consumers or energy entrepreneurs.
According to the recent World Bank report, Access to electricity makes communities safer, helps small businesses thrive, and powers essential services such as schools and clinics. The World Bank remains committed to helping countries transition to low-carbon energy systems and ensuring that everyone around the world has access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all.
Access to energy is not just an end in itself. It is also a stepping stone to overcome two major challenges the world is facing mitigating climate change and degradation of natural resources and ensuring that all people everywhere are able to take charge of their own lives in inclusive and open societies.
“Where does energy come into the picture? Traditionally, having access to energy often meant you had to live near a power grid or rely on diesel and kerosene or firewood.”
But the urgency of combating climate change, combined with technological advances and significant price reductions, has rapidly increased the availability and affordability of renewable energy. In addition, the move from centralized power distribution to decentralized off-grid and mini-grid systems powered by renewable energy is gaining strength.
This would make much more energy available for disadvantaged communities and remote areas.
To move forward, policies must become more supportive while energy finance needs to fundamentally change. Currently, the main problem is not a lack of finance, but how finance flows – mainly to on-grid systems in higher income countries while the greatest need is for off-grid systems in lower income areas.
The Writer works with Afiego as Field Officer-Kasese