Monday, December 19, 2011

Nile group calls for less hydro, more renewables

Appeal for support for the Nile Basin power initiative

Kampala, Uganda --- ESI-AFRICA.COM --- 19 December 2011 - Civil
society organisations within the Nile basin initiative (NBI) have
challenged development partners and international financial
institutions to consider directing more support towards the
development of renewable energy in the region.

The civil societies under the umbrella body of the Nile Basin
Discourse [NBD] have also pushed for more capital injection into the
development of solar energy, wind and geothermal power, instead of
concentrating on hydroelectric power.

�Development partners are funding the multi-billion-dollar sub-region
hydro power and interconnection projects of the NBI countries. But 60%
of the local communities cannot be connected to this high voltage
grid,� said NBD vice-chairman Wesley Chirchir.

�Over-dependence on hydroelectric power may not produce any
significant impact because it is highly affected by changes in climate
and environmental degradation. In order for all communities to
benefit, let the implementing agencies and funders consider other
means of energy that are conducive for the local people,� reads part
of the recommendations.

Chirchir also called on development partners and international
financial institutions to include rural electrification projects in
their major interconnection power lines, as that would also take care
of the interests of the local communities.

These demands come at a time when NBI countries are close to
implementing the regional power trade programme, which aims to
facilitate the development of an integrated regional power grid inter-
connection to all its member states.

The NBI secretariat is already funding the construction of the US$450
million regional Rusumo Falls hydropower project, whose power lines
are in: Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

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