Mini-GridA rural electrification research project aimed at improving access to electricity in rural areas using a 1 kW solar mini-grid system was implemented in Nakasengere, an off-grid village in Kiboga district, Central Uganda. A baseline survey was undertaken in November 2011 to assess the demand for electricity and to establish willingness and ability of the community to pay for electricity. Several indicators and their respective trends over time are being analysed from gathered information regarding socio-economic variables, environmental impact, situation analysis, educational background of the community and electricity demand of the business entities. The initial survey revealed that the highest percentage of expenditures for households and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is spent on energy (33%), implying that they place priority on meeting energy needs. The survey also revealed that the village had never been grid-connected, and 100% of the respondents were willing to get connected. With installation of the solar mini-grid in progress, five SMEs have been connected so far including a pharmacy, grocery shop, tailoring shop and a video hall. As a result, the businesses have extended their business hours, and many others are requesting to connect to the mini-grid. The businesses all pay for their electric consumption, thereby making the mini-grid financially sustainable.


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