Hello again to everyone! Let me start by wishing all of you a (belated) happy new year, and I sincerely hope that 2016 has been treating all of you well thus far.
In this installment I am happy to be able to report lots of exciting news from our recent scoping trip to Uganda (mid-January). As you may recall, a team of four MPA students at the NYU Wagner School is working with STG to complete the research component of their academic requirements, specifically developing a Market Entry Strategy for STG into East Africa. Based on the recommendations of the team we worked with last year, their focus is Uganda, and a key component of the research was a two-week trip to Kampala in January to meet with stakeholders, government officials, funders, and potential partners – in total, to gain an understanding of the context and activity in the energy sector. The image with this email gives you a good sense of how enthusiastic these students are!
I was able to spend 10 days in Kampala with the team, and I was incredibly impressed with their professionalism and attention to detail. They packed every day with useful meetings, from the Ministries of Energy and Health to the Energy Regulation Authority to international aid agencies like GIZ and USAID. We also met with faculty at Makerere University and a number of private sector businesses. Overall, we came away with an excellent understanding of what the needs of the communities in Uganda really are, what it takes to operate in the country as an energy provider, and what the upcoming funding opportunities are. Driven by the research led by these students we were able to submit a proposal to the United Nations for electrification of 40 health clinics in Western Uganda over the next 2-3 years – we are looking forward to feedback on this proposal and what other opportunities may arise!
In Lesotho progress is moving forward in development of a completely-locally manufactured tracking assembly for PV panels – increasing the total energy that can be harvested from a single panel, and localizing a higher fraction of the capital cost spent on energy projects. You’ll see our team in the picture I have attached, they are excited to get this demo system installed at a school near Maseru in the next few months! This novel system would never have been possible without the support of our community, so many thanks to all of you who have contributed to this progress over the past year!
Our energy monitoring program is still going strong, and I am looking forward in my next update to sharing more on that front – hopefully also with some STG tracking PV data in the mix!
As always with much gratitude for your support and shared excitement in our work!
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