The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has officially launched an ambitious Energy Policy for Uganda, which is set to require an estimated USD 250 billion, approximately Shillings 930.881 trillion, to implement over a span of 17 years.
The launch of the Energy Policy for Uganda 2023 event took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, marking a significant stride towards realizing the nation’s vision of sustainable, reliable, and universal access to energy for all Ugandans by the year 2040.
The newly introduced policy aims to tackle various energy-related challenges, including low levels of access to affordable and modern energy services, high power losses within the system, an unreliable power supply, steep connection costs for consumers, environmental degradation, and constrained transmission and distribution networks required to effectively distribute electricity nationwide.
Irene Pauline Bateebe, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, emphasized that despite Uganda’s abundant energy resources, mainly hydro, biomass, and other renewables, widespread energy poverty persists among households, which represent the largest group of energy consumers in the country, following industries.
Bateebe clarified that the Energy Policy marks a significant step in Uganda’s journey towards a more sustainable and accessible energy mix. It underscores the country’s determination to ensure adequate, affordable, and reliable energy supply, fostering both economic growth and environmental sustainability.
Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), highlighted Uganda’s economic growth and rapid urbanization as drivers of steadily increasing energy demand. Electricity demand is rising at a rate of 8.2 percent annually, equating to 125,000 new customers every year.
As of December 2022, Uganda’s power generation capacity had increased from 540MW in 2010 to 1,378.1MW.
The ERA called upon stakeholders in the electricity generation, transmission, and distribution sectors to collaborate in enabling universal access to electricity throughout the nation. They predicted that energy demand by 2027 would reach 7,664 GWh, with a peak demand of 1,250 MW.
Matthias Schauer, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, commended the new policy during the launch. Germany, through the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), supports Uganda’s efforts to achieve a clean energy mix with a focus on sustainability to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Denis Hamson Obua, the Government Chief Whip, who officiated the launch on behalf of Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, emphasized that the Energy Policy would enable Uganda to accelerate major infrastructure projects such as the standard gauge railway, oil refinery, and electric mobility, while also creating jobs for Ugandans.
The development of the Energy Policy for Uganda 2023 was a collaborative effort involving government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs), district local governments, private sector entities, academia, and civil society organizations (CSOs).
The policy aligns with the government’s commitment to regional and international obligations related to energy transition towards a zero-carbon economy. It encompasses strategies for new energy trends, including clean energy mini-grids (solar PV), industrial parks, smart grids, e-mobility, and energy-efficient and smart appliances.
As of December 2022, the national rate of electricity connectivity access stands at 57 percent, with 19 percent on-grid and 38 percent off-grid access. The total installed capacity is reported to be 1,378.1MW, with a peak electricity demand of approximately 700MW.