Government officials in Uganda have embarked on an initiative to promote the use of energy sources other than hydroelectric power.KAMPALA, Uganda 2002-03-01 [SolarAccess.com] The Rural Electrification Strategy and Plan 2001-2010, is a three-year pilot program aimed at connecting 2,000 customers with off-grid solar. “Solar power is useful for low consumption areas that are far from the existing grid,” the report reads in part. This prong of Uganda’s rural electrification strategy is geared toward increasing low-cost hydro generation. The report also includes developing small-scale hydropower further away from the grid with investments from the private sector. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is promoting the Uganda Rural Electrification Company Ltd. with small-scale hydropower projects in Bushenyi and Mbarara. The report calls solar energy a “major form of energy” for Uganda, which can play a significant role in preserving most food crops, beverages, tobacco, fish, meat and timber. “Solar water heating can save considerable energy in hotels, hospitals, factories and homes where the current electric grid system is not available,” the report said, adding that this source of energy could be substituted to some extent for wood fuel.