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Uganda Looks to Private Investors For Geothermal Potential Development

Bukenya Matovu, the Public Relations Officer for the Energy Ministry, says that the government doesn’t have a timeline for the development of the sector yet, because it is waiting on private investors to express interest in the industry.
Uganda’s geothermal energy is to be developed by private investors, according to information from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

Geothermal energy is generated from the earth’s heat, and the most common sources are hot springs. It is deemed environmentally friendly because the energy is generated by recycling the hot water from the spring.

Geothermal energy resources exist all over the country, but according to information from the Department of Geological Survey and Mines, four sites; Kibiro in Hoima, Sempaya (Buranga) in Semliki National Park, Kikorongo in Katwe, and Panyimur in Nebbi are to be prioritized for development.

Bukenya Matovu, the Public Relations Officer for the Energy Ministry, says that the government doesn’t have a timeline for the development of the sector yet, because it is waiting on private investors to express interest in the industry.

He says that at the moment, feasibility studies to fully investigate the potential of the industry are on-going. Bukenya adds that the amount of energy Uganda will be able to generate can only be determined when drilling starts.

Between 2008 and 2011, the Department of Geological Survey and Mines carried out countrywide Geological Mapping, Geochemical Surveys and Mineral Resources Assessment, and the new data shows that Uganda has over 20 different types of minerals spread all over the country.

According to local media reports, the country is to host a Minerals Conference in October 2012, to market its minerals and renewable energy potential.

In East Africa, Kenya is the only country with a developed geothermal plant at Olkaria, generating 167 MW.

Currently in Uganda, geothermal resources like hot springs are used as sources of water for domestic use and bathing spas due to the belief that their hot water has health benefits.

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