Conference: East African Power Industry Convention
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Presenter: Izael Pereira da Silva
Abstract: Presented by Izael Pereira da Silva at East African Power Industry Convention

There is urgent need to increase Uganda’s electricity supply and more importantly reduce the country’s dependence on the presently meager hydro electric power generation. Uganda is a growing economy with an average GDP growth rate estimated at 6.4% per annum. Economic growth is matched by growth in energy demands; fortunately we have a number of options at our disposal.

Of interest to the country is harnessing electricity from biomass. In small scale this can be done by gasification of the biomass. There are already some players in this sector of energy in Uganda. Musizi Tea Estate/James Finlay Uganda Limited has a 205 kW wood gasification unit. Yet another small unit belongs to Kasenge Electricity Power owned by a retired British civil engineer, Brian Frawley. A 10 kW unit generates electricity by wood gasification.

Nonetheless gasification is a complex process when compared with diesel genset electricity generation, maintenance is rather intensive. High level engineering and technical skills are required on a full time basis. This is lacking at the moment. In addition, the fuel supply chain has to be sustainable and it may require some added costs and organization, etc.

In an attempt to address these constraints CREEC, Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation has developed a program to work with these pioneers to sustain the units and make the technology viable. It is also exploring alternative fuels to wood such as agricultural residues.

This paper presents experiences from the use of gasification to meet small scale electricity generation using this technology and proposes some strategies for small scale gasification systems implementation. 

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