Off-grid solar systems put out 265,000 ‘tadoobas’

The use of renewable energy has been gaining grip over the years as the demand for electricity soars. Technicians installing a solar home system at a client’s house in western Uganda INFRASTRUCTURE

Huge investments by 23 solar firms have freed thousands of households in Uganda’s rural areas from using tadooba, a tin kerosene lamp commonly used as a source of lighting, according to a survey.

Findings from a report by the Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA), released recently, indicated that nearly 313,424 off-grid solar systems were sold in 2018, with about 115,213 products sold in the first half of the year.

The findings also show that most of the buyers of solar products preferred to pay using Pay As You Go (PAYGo) products as compared to cash.

“The number of solar sales translates into 265,000 kerosene lamps being replaced by off-grid solar products,” the report reads. PAYGo is a service by solar firms, which enables low income earners to purchase a product through making small instalments as compared to making a lumpsum.

The use of renewable energy has been gaining grip over the years as the demand for electricity soars.

The annual sales and impact data pilot survey conducted by USEA covers off-grid product purchases between January to December 2018. It was conducted among 23-member solar firms under USEA, which comprises manufacturers, assemblers and distributors.

Most solar clients, according to the findings, also opted for multi-light systems, with purchases increasing from 39.7% to 53%. The largest quantities of solar products were sold in the central region (118,830 products), followed by eastern region (68,857), western region (66,054) and northern region (59,683). Former Miss Uganda, Quiin Abenakyo helps a technician to install a solar system in a home in Mayuge district According to the report, the total solar purchase contributed about 8.18MW of newly installed electricity capacity. “

Only a complete system comprising both power generation (the solar panel) and its storage (the battery) were considered in this pilot, as they ensure households of a certain level of access to modern energy that is significant enough to contribute to Uganda’s universal electrification goal,” USEA’s chief executive officer, Joyce Nkuyahaga, said in a statement.

Sales of components, such as single panels or single batteries, accessories, including mobile chargers, solar-powered appliances (TV, fans, irrigation systems) were not included in the scope of this pilot.

Growth of off-grid Only about 8% of the rural communities have access to electricity, according to the […]

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