Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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East African Community Partner States Reiterate their Dedication to Promoting Renewable Energy and Tackling Fossil Fuel Issues in the Region

Partner States in the EAC are dedicated to improving energy efficiency and utilizing wind, solar, and geothermal energy as sustainable sources for the region.

These Partner States are taking various initiatives to achieve this goal, such as reviewing national renewable energy laws, implementing energy management regulations, developing national strategies and standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and promoting energy efficiency and conservation.

During the Ministerial Session of the 16th Sectoral Council of Energy at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, Partner States reported investments in wind and solar energy infrastructure. From Burundi’s solar mini-grids to Kenya’s wind and solar projects, renewable energy contributions to national grids are increasing. Rwanda and Tanzania reported increased investment in solar energy, while Uganda is focusing on solar energy deployment for rural electrification. The Partner States are also considering mini-hydro projects and transforming biomass energy sources with sustainable charcoal production and clean cooking solutions.

Notable updates include Kenya’s commercial oil discovery in the South Lokichar basin, Tanzania’s preparations for the 5th licensing round of oil and natural gas exploration blocks, Uganda’s petroleum resource development projects and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project, and Rwanda’s utilization of methane gas for electricity generation.

Regarding power connectivity, the region has a total power supply installed capacity of 7,381.67 Megawatts, and a total system peak demand of 4,811.2 Megawatts. Regional per capita electricity consumption ranges from 25 kilowatt hours in Burundi to 153 kilowatt hours in Kenya. Electric supply challenges persist due to vandalism of infrastructure, but Partner States are making efforts to combat the issue.

The Chairperson, Hon. Shaib Hassan Kaduara, emphasized the importance of the energy sector in achieving socio-economic development of the Community. He invited Partner States to the official launch of Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant in February 2024, which has a capacity of generating 2,115 Megawatts.

The EAC Deputy Secretary General, Ms Annette Ssemuwemba, stressed the need for sufficient, reliable, and cost-effective energy to meet development needs. She mentioned the untapped energy resources in the region and the need to focus on solutions to guide the sector.

Also present at the meeting were Hon. Eng. Ibrahim Uwizeye, Minister of Hydraulic, Energy and Mines, Republic of Burundi and Hon. Peninah Malonza, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary, for EAC, the ASALs and Regional Development.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of East African Community.

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