Why Uganda is the next energy investment destination

Why Uganda is the next energy investment destination - Future Energy Uganda
In this photo taken Thursday, June 30, 2016, Ugandan engineers fix solar panels at a solar plant in Soroti about 300 kilometers east of Uganda capital Kampala. In this electricity-starved rural part of Uganda, men ride bicycles several kilometers (miles) to the nearest market town simply to charge their phones. That should change with the construction nearby of one of the largest solar plants in sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of the population is without electricity and countries increasingly explore alternative sources of power. (AP Photo/Stephen Wandera)

Uganda’s immense power potential and enormous energy investment opportunities will be in focus when stakeholders and decision makers meet for a strategic two-day conference and showcase during the inaugural Future Energy Uganda in Kampala from 12-13 September 2017.

“The numbers in Uganda’s energy sector speak for themselves: the country is without a doubt the next energy investment destination,” says Future Energy Uganda event director Le-ann Hare-Keymer.

She explains: “Uganda aims to grow installed capacity from 868MW to 4100MW, 2002km of transmission lines and 100% of household electrification – all by 2030, as part of projects worth USD92 billion. Furthermore, IPPs account for 58% of generation capacity which is set to grow as a number of renewable energy projects develop. Future Energy Uganda aims to facilitate and fast track the progression and growth of the energy sector.”

Future Energy Uganda will provide a meeting platform for project developers, finance houses and multilateral investors, construction and planning companies as well as technology providers from Uganda, the region and from the rest of the world. The event will demonstrate the proactive nature of Uganda to develop the sector efficiently and effectively.

“We welcome this initiative”
Future Energy Uganda is officially supported by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. “We welcome this initiative, realising that it fits within our plans of providing adequate and reliable energy for social and economic development of our country,” says the Ugandan Minister of State for Energy, Hon. Eng, Simon D’Ujanga, in a letter of support, adding: “we recognise the importance and role power plays in fulfilling the industrial, economic and social potential of Uganda”.

He adds: “we are glad that you have chosen to have this conference hosted here in Uganda. We note that Future Energy Uganda will be part of a national event “The Energy Week”, which has been running for over 10 years, and highlights the need to use renewable and alternative sources in a sustainable manner.”

Uganda’s energy future
Some more exciting, current statistics about the Ugandan power sector and development plans include:

  • Grid expansion is set at 1.42 million new rural connections by 2030 to connect 570 000 rural households – a USD 6.2 billion project.
  • Uganda has commissioned a 10MW solar power plant, the largest in East Africa.
  • The country has a strong focus on renewable energy going forward with renewable energy share goals of 96% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
  • From 2011 to 2015, USD 274.96 million was invested in clean energy in Uganda.
  • The country is targeting a combination of on-grid and off-grid power generation through 2030 with a projected connected 11,097GWh to 14,080GWh and an off-grid projection of 233GWh to 267GWh.
  • Uganda’s solar PV market is rapidly growing with government incentives such as tax breaks and consumer subsidies aimed at attractive private sector investment.
  • Uganda has an estimated geothermal resource potential of 450MW.
  • Three main large hydropower sites are planned for Uganda, with the first expected in 2018. Current hydropower projects include:
    – Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Station 250MW
    – Kiira Hydroelectric Power Station 200MW
    – Nalubaale Power Station 180MW
    – Karuma Power Station (under construction) 600MW
    – Isimba Hydroelectric Power Station (under construction) 183MW
    – Ayago Power Station (proposed) 600MW

World Bank: Uganda has made substantial progress
In a recent World Bank study on the “Financial Viability of Electricity Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Uganda was reported as one of only two countries (together with Seychelles) who have a financially viable electricity sector. According to the study, “although these results should be looked at in context, these two countries have continued to display good operational performance. Uganda has made substantial progress in reducing transmission and distribution losses.”

Leading energy platforms
Future Energy Uganda is organised by Spintelligent, a multi-award-winning Cape Town-based exhibition and conference producer across the continent in the infrastructure, real estate, energy, mining, agriculture and education sectors. Other well-known events by Spintelligent include African Utility Week, Future Energy East Africa (formerly EAPIC), Future Energy Nigeria (formerly WAPIC), Future Energy Central Africa (formerly iPAD Cameroon), Agritech Expo Zambia, Kenya Mining Forum, Nigeria Mining Week, DRC Mining Week and EduWeek. Spintelligent is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group.

By Annemarie Roodbol – Senior communications manager, Future Energy Uganda