Renewables Electrifying Uganda

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Uganda is approximately 49.41 million people[1]. In 2020, only 42.07 % of the people in this land-locked country in eastern Africa had access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Zambia’s economy was ranked 101st in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is based on the export[4] of gold, coffee, cocoa beans, raw sugar, and tea.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Uganda signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to a twenty-two percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to business as usual levels.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, state-owned Uganda Electricity Generation Company used renewable energy (97.0 %) and oil (3.0 %) Β to generate electricity in the country[6]. Hydropower was the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Uganda.

Recent renewable energy projects in Uganda include:

  • 600 MW Hydropower Project – The Uganda Electricity Generation Company is continuing work on the Karuma hydropower project, which is located approximately 90 miles north of the nation’s capital, Kampala.
  • 183 MW Hydropower Project – In March 2019, the Uganda Electricity Generation Company commissioned the Isimba Falls hydropower project, which is located approximately 50 miles east of Kampala.
  • 120 MW Solar Projects – French company, TotalEnergies is continuing work on the development of six solar projects with a total of capacity of 120 MW in the Ugandan towns of Kapeeka, Iganga, Tororo, Kumi, Bukedea and Palisa.
  • 23 MW Solar Project – Spanish solar developer, RIC Energy is continuing work on the Nkonge solar project at a site approximately 10 miles northeast of Kampala. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.

Conclusions

Uganda has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, biomass, wind, and geothermal. The nation’s renewable energy resource potential could easily provide low-coast, reliable electricity to everyone in Uganda.

Uganda imports oil for transportation and power generation. In 2020, Uganda spent[7] U.S. $651 Million just for imported refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the European Union, United States, Canada, Japan, and South Korea placing embargos on Russian exports. The international price for crude oil increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

The price volatility of coal, oil, or natural gas make fossil fueled power plants an economic impossibility for Uganda. Renewable energy is now providing low-cost, green electricity to the people of Uganda.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – β€œOur Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

Β 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

 

[1] Uganda’s Population (2023) –  January 17, 2023, www.worldometers.info

[2] World Bank, Access To Electricity (% Population) – Uganda

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Uganda

[5] Carbon Brief – β€œParis 2015: Tracking Country Pledges” www.carbonbriefing.org

[6] Our World In Data, Uganda: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Uganda Imports

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