Access to energy, productive uses and development in Kitobo Island
Lake Victoria, Uganda


Absolute Energy’s holistic approach aims at boosting the socio-economic development in rural areas by providing the local communities with productive machines and appliances, besides the access to photovoltaic energy.
The objective of this report is to shed light on quantitative data from Absolute Energy’s pilot project, Kitobo, proving a concrete correlation between productive use of the electricity and development.
The results reveal how Kitobo has started benefitting from electricity and its productive use improving its economy, standard of living and quality of life.


The purpose of providing productive assets is to boost the local economy development with the introduction of activities producing new value-added, transforming the island in a net exporter.

Since November 2018 an industrial ice machine has being running on Kitobo Island.
This positively impacted on several aspects of the local economy:

1. Satisfying Kitobo’s fishermen demand of ice for fish transportation and storage at a lower cost and increasing their income; in facts, allowing them to save 2h 30’ /20$ return trip to procure ice from the lake shore and loosing 1/3 of the ice purchased during the return trip;
2. Supplying the fishermen of the close islands, as well, making Kitobo a net exporter of ice;
3. Three local employees hired to operate and manage the ice production activity;
4. +86% hike in average daily energy consumption;


The outcome of a market assessment performed in the recently electrified Kitobo island showed a wide interest from the community in acquiring electrical appliances to improve the benefits from the energy provision. Door-to-door surveys and public hearing have been carried out to assess the devices request and the target group ability to pay in order to sort a inventory of the equipment needed.

After 4 months from the launch of the initiative first quantitative data have been collected and analysed:

• some local entrepreneurial people have acquired appliances to start-up new commercial businesses providing goods and services to customers (e.g. laundry, bar/café);
• a number of households have purchased domestic appliances to get benefits in their own every day life.

Energy trends are only slightly influenced by energy saving devices or low-consumption like mobile phones or TV. In fact, a negative variation has been measured for those.
The average uptake can be easily noticed in the daily curve and load profiles.

The overall trends are shown in the following chart:

Outputs discrepancy is mainly due to seasonal effects. In fact, during December holidays, people move away from the island back to the mainland hometown, resulting in an overall decrease of energy demand. This effect has already been recorded in the previous years and affects the entire community.
Such results are very comforting and are a clear demonstration of the appropriateness of Absolute Energy strategy to deliver productive energy and stimulate demand growth through direct investments in productive assets and in the distribution, amongst others, of productive appliances.
Business User energy consumption

Residential User energy consumption