Switch to cleaner and cheaper sources of energy – MPs

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Parliament questioned the government’s continued investment in thermal energy as opposed to other cheaper and cleaner sources of energy.

During the plenary session on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, MEPs urged the government to adopt renewable energy sources that are sustainable, environmentally friendly, efficient and less expensive compared to thermal energy which is expensive and more polluting .

This was during the debate on the report of the Public Accounts Committee (central government) on the Auditor General’s special audit report on the Namanve thermal power plant.

“In terms of fuel and maintenance, these thermal power plants are very expensive. I implore the government to change and invest in wind energy. We have a lot of wasted wind at Elgon, Kapchorwa, etc. Opposition Whip, Hon. says Jean-Baptiste Nambeshe.

Nambeshe said the government should explore other cheaper energy sources such as solar power and natural gas.

“We must opt ​​for cleaner, environmentally friendly and efficient energy. We face the global challenge of climate change and as we tackle it, we must minimize greenhouse gas emissions through these clean energies,” he said.

AUDIO Nambeche

In October 2021, Parliament directed the PAC to investigate anomalies and shortcomings surrounding the 2007 implementation agreement between the government and a local company, Jacobsen Uganda Power Plan Company Limited (JUPPCL) where the latter was supposed to build, operate and maintain a 50 megawatt heavy fuel oil. thermal power plant in Namanve for 13 years and later transfer it to the government.

While the Namanve thermal power plant estimated at 27.36 million euros was finally handed over to the government through the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) in February 2022 after a long dispute, MPs believe that the project risks becoming a white elephant.

“This House has passed a budget for a solar project in Kololo which they say is working efficiently and providing a lot of energy which will supplement hydroelectric power…Why don’t we use solar power which is free in terms of using sunlight so that we don’t spend money on thermal energy which is extremely expensive?” Hon Rosemary Nyakikongoro (Sheema District) said.

The Minister of State for Energy, Hon. Sidronius Opolot Okasai was quick to say that while thermal energy is very expensive and devastating to the environment in terms of gas emissions, it remains a necessary energy source for the country.

“This thermal power plant was put in place at a time when the country was literally sinking and the government had to make the decision to have a thermal power plant to meet our energy needs,” he said. , adding that over time, we have built the capacity to generate electricity through sustainable energy such as hydroelectricity. It’s backup power that runs at minimum just to run the engines.”

AUDIO Okasai

The report of the committee presented by the Hon. Fredrick Angura (Tororo South County) also pointed out that the government is embracing new investments in more environmentally efficient energy solutions such as wind, solar and natural gas which are comparatively cheaper in the long run.

“As a country, we must work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We should have a significant investment in the development of infrastructure and renewable energy technologies,” Angura said.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

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