Phase II of MRC Uganda solar project to power sustainable scientific research launched

Solar Inauguration

The Unit launched a 607KWP solar installation at its Entebbe research site in an inauguration event that marked the completion of Phase II of a solar energy project aimed at enhancing energy conservation and sustainability during the conduct of scientific research. The event was presided over by Ms. Elizabeth Kaijuka Okwenje, Principal Energy Officer on behalf of Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development.

The new phase features 513 additional solar panels and cutting-edge energy storage systems, which are expected to significantly reduce the Unit's reliance on the power grid. According to the Unit Director Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu,

"The introduction of solar power contributes to an additional clean and affordable energy source. We expect to have a 50% reduction in grid consumption, which will free up more funds for research."

He continued to urge the government to embrace and encourage more sustainability initiatives.

While commissioning the project, Ms. Kaijuka Okwenje noted,

"Today's inauguration is an indication of the MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit's commitment to advancing the nation's sustainable energy efforts. It serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to embrace renewable energy solutions and contribute to the global transition towards a more sustainable future. As we celebrate this remarkable achievement, let us reaffirm our collective commitment to fostering innovation, sustainability, and safeguarding the well-being of future generations.

The event was attended by senior officials from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Dr. Matt Lee, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Mr. John Starmer, Director of Estates. Dr. Lee stated,

"We are dedicated to supporting the Unit in decarbonizing its research and operational activities. We want to be champions of research, and this solar project is one of the many steps being taken."

In line with the UN's global call to action to combat climate change, the Unit is committed to increasing the renewable fraction of power used for scientific research and operations to 70%. Our overarching aim is to contribute to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which emphasizes adoption of affordable and clean energy.

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