Uganda is gearing up towards hosting the inaugural Future Energy Uganda conference where it is expected to showcase the enormous energy investment potential. The inaugural conference in Kampala from 12-13 September 2017 is expected to attract investors and decision makers to explore areas of renewable energy like geothermal and solar that are still under exploited.
Energy state minister Simon Engineer Simon D'Ujanga
Uganda is gearing up towards hosting the inaugural Future Energy Uganda conference where it is expected to showcase the enormous energy investment potential.
The inaugural conference in Kampala from 12-13 September 2017 is expected to attract investors and decision makers to explore areas of renewable energy like geothermal and solar that are still under exploited.
Future Energy Uganda event director, Le-ann Hare-Keymer, says the numbers in Uganda's energy sector speak for themselves adding that the country is, without a doubt, the next energy investment destination.
She explains: "Uganda aims to grow installed capacity from 868Megawatts to 4100Megawatts, 2000km of transmission lines and 100% of household electrification - all by 2030, as part of projects worth 92 billion dollars.
One of these projects is supposed to be developed by Independent power producers that are increasingly eyeing Uganda's energy sectors. Independent Power Producers currently account for 58% of generation capacity which is set to grow as a number of renewable energy projects develop.
Le-ann Hare-Keymer says Future Energy Uganda aims to facilitate and fast track the progression and growth of the energy sector.
She reveals that 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.
State Minister for Energy, Engineer Simon D'Ujanga, welcomes the Future Energy's initiative saying it will help Uganda to meet its desired aspirations of electrifying the country.
"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 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."
The two-day event according to D'Ujanga will be part of the Energy Week, which has been running for over ten years. He says it highlights the need to use renewable and alternative sources in a sustainable manner.
Uganda has emerged as the lead export of electricity to neighbouring Kenya with recent studies showing that Kenya's electricity imports from Uganda have grown by 281%.
Uganda exported 131.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) to Kenya in the first half of this year compared to 34.5 million kWh in 2016, according to Kenya official data.
The Government recently also signed an agreement with neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo to extend power to the Eastern part of that country.
There is also an existing memorandum of understanding between Uganda and Tanzania for the former to supply electricity to villages along the common border.
Uganda invested over 274 million dollars in clean energy between 2011 and 2015. The Ministry of Energy aspires to have renewable energy constituting 96% of the energy sector by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
The country is expected to produce excess power once ongoing construction of hydroelectricity dams is completed. Ongoing projects include the 600MW Karuma Power dam and 183MW Isimba dam. The Government also plans to construct a 600MW power dam at Ayago.
The World Bank recently said that Uganda and Seychelles were the only two countries in Sub Saharan Africa that have a financially viable electricity sector. It said the two countries have continued to display good operational performance and that Uganda has made substantial progress in reducing transmission and distribution losses.
During the World Economic Forum in May this year, Uganda also signed a memorandum of understanding with South Africa-based Siemens to cooperate in the areas of power supply, industry, transportation and focus on infrastructure investments and partnerships between public and private sectors.
Siemens is in the process of establishing a permanent office in Uganda to serve as a base for long term collaboration with Ugandan public and private entities.
Siemens is also joining the Make IT Alliance of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development to promote start-ups and technology companies across the African continent.