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Uganda is taking steps to improve and increase its current 5% electrification rate
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The $50 million funding approved by the Climate Investment Fund will help accelerate Uganda’s energy projects

In East Africa, Uganda has secured $50 million in funding from the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) under the Scaling Up Renewable in Low Income Countries Programme (SREP), aimed at advancing the country’s renewable energy projects.

The CIF, established in 2008, is one of the largest climate-financing instruments, backed by several multilateral lenders, including the World Bank and African Development Bank.

Climate Investment Fund promotes development

According to a company statement, the SREP funding will help to accelerate Uganda’s Investment Plan by “promoting geothermal development, solar PV off-grid rural electrification and-grid net metering, and wind measurement for development of pilot wind power project.”

“The plan will also promote and support greater private sector engagement in power generation from renewables, help consolidate the sector’s regulatory framework, and promote gender equality and inclusiveness,” states the release.

The statement describes Uganda as a country placing energy at the forefront of its social economic development, indicating that currently only 17% of the population has access to electricity yet in rural areas, that figure drops to 7%.

SREP senior programme coordinator Zhihong Zhang told the Daily Monitor that “with a population of about 35 million, more than 29 million people in Uganda do not have access to electricity.”

He added that the SREP funds will help tackle the challenge by supporting Uganda in developing indigenous renewable energy resources and will offer opportunities for development even in remote areas of the country.

Funds to accelerate three projects

According to the Uganda commissioner from the Directorate of Energy Resources Development and SREP National Focal Point at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, James Baanabe, energy is the driver of social economic development. He added that adequate and reliable energy is vital for Uganda’s vision of becoming a wealthy country in the next 30 years.

“We are pleased that this plan helps address both by building our renewables sector and engaging the private sector, and welcome today’s endorsement.”

The plan includes a set of three projects to be developed over the coming months:

  • Decentralised renewables development programme
  • Wind resource map and pilot-wind power development project
  • 130MW geothermal development programme

According to the statement the IP is expected to achieve the following results:

  • A minimum direct contribution of 151 MW of installed capacity of renewable technologies (non-hydro) in the country’s energy mix
  • An increase in the annual energy output of 125.4 GWh per year
  • An annual decrease in greenhouse gas emissions of 163,000 tons CO2 a year
  • Total investment of at least $455 million in the power sector associated with SREP
  • Development of two nascent generation technologies in the country, geothermal and wind, with high transformational impact
  • Expansion of expertise and know-how in the country in relation to renewable technologies
  • Better economic and social prospects in isolated areas that do not benefit from access to modern and productive energy services.