If the renewable energy sector is to survive, it needs more access, affordability, and integrity, according to Germany’s foreign cooperation arm and Sendea, a program of the Stiftung Solarenergie (Germany), a network of like-minded local solar enterprises.
This was underlined at a Kampala gathering of major players in Uganda’s renewable energy sector, held by Sendea Uganda’s solar service providers.
GIZ’s Lisa Hofheinz stated that as development partners in the renewable energy sector, actors must be aware of opportunities in the off-grid sector, such as focusing on PV Solar, keeping up with data management, new technologies that are essential for Uganda’s workforce, and dealing with climate change.
“In the renewable energy business, capacity creation is critical. It must be locally held in order to make a substantial contribution to Uganda’s long-term development.
This has to do with assisting local SMEs, training technicians, and ensuring that the demand and supply sides of the market are self-sustaining,” Hofheinz explained.
The Directorate of Industrial Training’s Head of Assessment, Johnson Turyamwesiimira, advised stakeholders to ensure that occupational standards are followed.
We need to analyze and certify technicians in the industry, he said.
“We are already assessing the kamyufus (informal technicians) in grid power, such as Umeme (electricity) technicians, in collaboration with the private sector foundation.”
Gonna Waiswa, a Sendea Academy trainee, claims that he can now install a solar system, a security solar light, a street light with motion and light sensors on hospitals, among other things.
Over 50 teenagers from across the country who have completed their training as freelance solar installation experts were given start-up toolkits at the gathering.
“We have these tool-kit boxes, which contain all of the instruments that you will need to perform solar PV installation work at any of your sites or locations.” It costs Shs 450,000 each, and we advise you to buy one for yourself as an investment,” said Sendea Uganda CEO Loy Kyozaire.
She recommended the government to consider technical sectors where there is a growing need, such as PV solar installation, as part of the skills development fund by giving assistance tools.
“Our essential partners, such as the government, must provide solar installation tool kits to these children.” We simply cannot afford to care for each and every technician we train on our own. These toolkits are essential for effective installation, servicing, and maintenance. “Through which importing firms and customers can continue to get good value for money,” Kyozaire pleaded.
We need local investment in Africa as a whole, according to Dr. Harald Schutzeichel of the German-based Solar Foundation, Stidtung Solarenergie GbmH.
“There are a lot of young entrepreneurs here.” We want local enterprises to enhance their investment ability under Sendea, for example, the solar companies in Uganda. This will make it easier to finance and keep money in the country,” he said.
According to Alex Lwakuba, Commissioner for Crop Production at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, the demand for solar irrigation is expanding at a rate of more than 8% per year, highlighting the need for affordability.
“We need food security in Uganda to increase agricultural productivity, and we recognize the high cost of fossil fuels.” Sendea is now pushing renewable energy, which is inexpensive, accessible, and environmentally friendly. It helps to ensure the long-term viability of agricultural production and food systems around the world.
Solar pumps are becoming more used in harvesting, processing, and sun drying. For us in the agriculture sector, it’s critical,” Lwakuba remarked.