Imagine a world where everyone’s energy needs are adequately catered for without harming the environment but energy coming from 100 percent renewable energy resources. That world is possible if we accelerate the promotion and adoption of the concept of energy transition from the current dependence on non-renewable energy technologies to renewable energy resources.
The global demand for energy keeps increasing everyday especially in the transportation industry, manufacturing industry and meeting the household energy demands however currently these come at accost to our environment.
We cannot afford to continue damaging the environment to meet these needs at the expense of our livelihoods and the future generations to come yet there is already and existing alternative we can fully adopt without having to innovate further.
Energy transition therefore, is defined as a gradual shift from an energy system dominated by non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels towards an energy system using a majority of renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind power among others.
This shift is necessary to address the current challenges of depending on non-renewable energy sources which has resulted not only in the pollution of our environment but also in changing the global temperatures at a rate we cannot even adapt.
In fact, climate change impacts are already visible with the occurrences of large-scale catastrophes, flooding and drought, infestation of pest and diseases and widespread food and water shortages; the faster we transition away from dangerous fuels, the better we will be to protect our communities from harm.
The Paris agreement on climate change formulated in 2015 has enabled nations make historic commitment to protect our climate and pledged to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this goal and commitments made, we must transition to 100 percent clean energy as soon as possible.
According to the statistics from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda has vast renewable energy potential with not less than 5,400 MW from sources such as Solar, wind, geothermal, hydro among others and this potential is enough to power the country to 100 percent clean energy that we must transition.
Just think of the comfort it brings to drive your car without worrying about fuel cost but electrically charged, or taking a warm shower with solar powered heaters, even the amount of school hours our children will enjoy out of lighting from wind power.
Better still, seeing our mothers prepare a decent meal with solar energy and not worrying about smoke affecting their respiratory system or the number of business unemployed youth would start up without worrying of the monthly bill.
Therefore, it is important for our leaders at all levels to accelerate our transition to 100 percent renewable energy. This can be done through putting priorities on clean energy technologies; promoting the deployment of clean renewable energy sources and then civil society organizations continue to work together to sensitize the communities to swift from use of dirty fuels to more cleaner sources for sustainability in the energy sector.
By Samuel Okulony
Programmes and Research Coordinator
Africa Institute for energy governance