By Jimmy Siyasa
“Renewables are by far the cheapest form of power today,” once remarked Francesco La Camera, the Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This is a fact. Not only that, but they are also the most eco-friendly forms of energy humanity can have today.
We live in a time where the ecosystem is under daily attack; being sacrificed on the altar of development/industrialization, and needs a “saviour”.
An April 2022 study this year by the World Economic Forum found that by 2020, only a slight “9% of all energy generated in Africa came from renewable sources,” yet the continent has massive potential to be a leading player in the global renewable energy sector.
In response to this challenge, Uganda Christian University (UCU) has embarked on the pursuit of partnerships, especially with various institutions of higher learning in big-player countries regarding renewables. The latest are German-based universities.
Early this week, the UCU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, met with the President of Neu-Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HNU), Prof. Uta Feser, and the Vice President for Internationalization, Prof. Elmar Steurer, in Germany. They discussed the possibility of joint projects, among other mutual pursuits.
Prof. Mushengyezi and Prof. Feser also agreed to renew the partnership agreement focusing on research and student exchange.
UCU and HNU have been implementing a project on renewable energy (solar project) in the Koome Islands, led by Dr. Miria Agunyo, Assoc. Prof. Elizabeth Kizito, Dr. Stephen Kyakulumbye and Dr. Jeremy Waiswa; who are all UCU researchers and some senior academic administrators.
The solar power project named the “Implementation of Solar Mini-Grids for Digital Learning Models in the Rural Areas of Uganda,” seeks to provide access to reliable electricity and clean energy for the islanders who have known darkness for years.
The UCU team also visited Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences in Munich. It specializes in agriculture-related disciplines and renewable energy. Discussions with the university management focused on the possibilities of partnerships in agricultural, food science, and renewable energy areas. Thereafter, the UCU toured the KTN Factory, based in Bavaria, Germany. It is one of the industry partners of HNU.