Ugandan legislators push for renewable energy super grids

honourable_members_of_parliament_at_the_climate_parliament_meetingMembers of Parliament from around the world are looking at possibilities of building renewable energy super grids so as to make a rapid worldwide transition to clean energy possible. The grids, which are a combination of solar, wind, and hydroelectric technologies will have the potential to provide a cheap and unlimited supply of renewable energy that can keep global warming under control.

Meeting at the sidelines of the 22nd Conference on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco; under their umbrella organization Climate Parliament which brings together legislators working worldwide to combat climate change, on Monday, 14th November 2016, the legislators said the Green Grid Alliance would enable developing countries share ideas and best practice on green grids and work on financing mechanisms such as green grid bonds.

“The leadership in renewable energy is not in Europe anymore but in developing countries. We need to transition from fossil fuel to clean energy,” said Nicholas Dunlop, the Secretary General, Climate Parliament.

He said that each region should form a regional super grid to share the renewable resources, which could be linked by an intercontinental backbone grid.

“Working as a parliamentary network, we have put together a Green Grid Alliance of  20 developing countries to accelerate the process of building the new energy systems that we must have to avoid an energy catastrophe,” he said.

The countries that have indicated interest in participating in the Green Grid Alliance include Bangladesh, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Jordan, Mongolia, Morocco, Peru, Samoa, Senegal and Tunisia.

For a country that is the largest emitter of green house gasses, China through its State Grid Corporation has proposed a global energy interconnection with an international backbone grid to enable the world obtain 80 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, advanced the proposal in a past UN meeting in September 2015.

Seeking to be a part of the Green Grid Alliance, the Chairperson Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change, Hon. Biyika Lawrence Songa said, “Uganda would like to be a key player in Eastern Africa in supporting the cause for the Green Grid Alliance so that we can lobby our government to get involved.”

Hon. Felix Okot Ogong expressed concern that in Africa the cost of solar energy was still very high, and sought to know how the Network could help reduce the cost of solar generation in Africa.

Nicholas Dunlop explained that through the scaling solar programme, Zambia now had the cheapest large-scale solar power in Africa, with Senegal being the second country in Africa to sign up into the programme. He said the legislators could encourage their governments to participate in the programme.

Renewable energy, also called green energy, is generated from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, water, and various forms of biomass. It is energy that is naturally replenished and does not run out.

The Climate Parliament was established to expand awareness of and engage with climate-related issues amongst parliamentarians worldwide. It also provides support for renewable energy access to the poor.

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