TotalEnergies has launched a plan to produce renewable energy in Uganda with a planned capacity of 1000 megawatts by 2030.
Known for producing motor engine petroleum products, TotalEnergies is now planning massive investments into renewable energy sources, starting with solar, then wind and other forms of green energy. The company has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Uganda to give regulatory and other forms of support for the projects.
TotalEnergies is partnering with Winch Energy Ltd, to respond to growing energy needs by providing cost-effective electricity and internet access, through renewable solar energy power to off-grid communities in the different parts of Uganda.
Uganda Currently produces about 850 megawatts, though it has the capacity to produce at least 1,200 megawatts for the national grid, while about 26 per cent of Ugandans have access to the grid power.
A slightly bigger number of Uganda use solar energy, which is mostly for lighting and use on light equipment like small radios and mobile phone charging. This in total takes the electricity access to about 56 per cent.
TotalEnegies last year re-branded from Total to reflect the company’s new roles in the energy sector, diversifying from mainly fossil energy production marketing to dealing in renewable energy.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Batebe says the move by TotalEnergies is a step towards Uganda’s migration to renewable energy, which is part of the global movement. She says this will help in not only bringing into the country new energy technologies but also support research into the renewable energy field.
The global move to clean and renewable energy is getting faster with new technologies and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says that countries in Africa and other developing regions can integrate home-grown and imported technology to fit in the movement.
“Renewables could supply four-fifths of the world’s electricity by 2050, massively cutting carbon emissions and helping to mitigate climate change. But solar and wind power have to be fully integrated, with sustainable bio-energy providing another key part of the mix”, says IRENA.
All this means speeding up innovation in business and technology but also taking action to promote renewable energy today. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanne says their venture into electricity and renewables does not mean they are moving away from petroleum.
Apart from wind, solar and biomass, the country has plans to start producing nuclear energy from uranium deposits. The International Atomic Energy Agency has made fact-finding missions on the plans for Uganda to start a nuclear energy industry.
This kind of energy is considered the cleanest despite the extra care needed in managing it because any accident can be catastrophic not only to the environment but to human health too.
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