In a country where only 15% have access to electricity with a reliability of only 75%, solar energy could be the way to not only a reliable energy solution IN Uganda, but also a clean non-toxic form of energy in an era where the danger of global warming looms ahead. For many years the drive towards clean energy has been a journey often left to state authorities; a the government affair as it stands, not a concern for private organizations. BOSCO Uganda takes the mantle in its contribution to clean energy through the use of solar energy as an environment safe and clean source of energy to underprivileged communities within the geographical confines of northern Uganda.
Unlike Hydro Electric Power (HEP) energy which is generated from water, Solar energy uses photovoltaic (PV) panels which convert sunlight directly to electricity thus solving the complexity of electricity generation that happens with HEP which uses turbines and other machines. An alternative to other forms of, the durability of solar energy allows a user more than five years of usage Henry Ocan a local solar trader in Gulu town cites a life span of more than ten years of constant usage for a solar panel, a feat he believes makes solar indispensable.
“ The fact that solar panels are long lasting, plus the warranty given to buyers as assurance to their quality, makes them worth the expense.” says Ocan. Solar energy usage is a relatively costly venture owing to the cost of panels and battery which are quite expensive pieces of equipment (ranging between 500,000 or even more) depending on the number of watts transmitted.
This expense however is not one incurred by the schools and communities which benefit from the BOSCO Uganda CE3 project. BOSCO Uganda partners with schools, communities and organizations. Using the BOSCO Uganda initiated solar energy, schools, communities and organizations are able to have a reliable source of energy.
The abundance of solar energy also makes it an important source of energy. According to Union of Concerned Citizens, a science dedicated on-line platform, “18 days of sunshine on Earth contains the same amount of energy as is stored in all of the planet’s reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas”. This quality alone makes solar energy indispensable, a renewable resource that the beneficiaries can exploit without fear of depletion.
The fact that solar energy involves zero emissions of carbon emissions with the exception of those that occur during manufacture of panels and their transportation makes it an ideal form of energy to combat global warming.
Ivan Aboga Rackara is a student of UCU Mukono.