East Africa

Making electricity from farm waste in Uganda

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Johnson Nyeko’s plant, which costs about 400 million shillings, generates 30 Kilowatts of electricity, enough to power at least 20 homes.

Uganda has an abundance of maize cobs, rice husks and groundnut shells which can be converted into electricity. Technological challenges however make generating power in this way difficult for most people without the technical competence to make it work.

Johnson Nyeko, an entrepreneur, is piloting a power generating project in Northern Uganda through his Gasifier Power generation station, which uses farm waste.

This Gasifier Power Generation might be the solution to Uganda’s perennial power shortages and fluctuations. It uses biomass, a by-product of plants like leaves, shells, cobs or husks.

Johnson’s plant which costs about 400 million shillings, generates 30 Kilowatts of Electricity, enough to power at least 20 homes. About 8 kilogrammes of rice husks is enough to power the gasifier for 1 hour.

This gasifier can be cheap to run in an agricultural zone where the plant waste materials are abundant and the plants can also provide additional cash to farmers when they burn their biomass.

The unit is environmentally friendly since it minimizes reliance on fossil fuel. It also produces a form of coal that  can also be compacted into briquettes, further reducing reliance on charcoal.

Nyeko is planning to set up a 30 Megawatts unit of this kind to supply Gulu town. He says more districts could be connected soon.

– See more at: http://www.ntv.co.ug/news-features/nature-files/making-electricity-farm-waste#sthash.plPG3RNa.vOmJIuGg.dpuf


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