US, UK support Uganda’s electrification effort

Violet Namata

Violet Namata

, News

Power Africa, a U.S led initiative, has announced the launch of the Power Africa Uganda Electricity Supply Accelerator, an $11 million fund that will support the government of Uganda’s electrification goals.

The accelerator will facilitate the addition of 1000 megawatts of generation capacity and 1,000,000 new electricity connections by 2020.

The announcement was made at the Uganda Solar Energy Association Expo at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday.

More than 40 local and international solar companies showcased solution for lighting off-grid homes, businesses and public buildings irrigating farmland and so much more.

U.S. Ambassador Deborah R. Malac and UK High Commissioner Peter West also announced programs to support the continued growth of energy access in Uganda in order to increase economic opportunities for all Ugandans.

“Solar home systems can contribute greatly to National Development,” said Malac.

“With solar energy, we can power irrigation systems, we can store medicine in rural health centers and we can improve the quality of education children receive.”

During the Expo, UK department for International Development announced a launch of a one-year project to build the capacity and independence of the Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA).

Despite the abundance of solar energy in Uganda, its use as an electricity and heat energy is still limited reasons, Emmy Kimbowa chairman Energy Systems attributes to the cost of solar energy equipment.

“Things like solar panels are very expensive for many Ugandans, so many resort to backing out,”Kimbowa said.

The ministry of Energy figures shows that electricity demand in Uganda is estimated to increase constantly at an average annual rate of about 8%. Currently Uganda generates about 851 MW.

Annually 50MW of new generation capacity needs to be added to the national grid in order to avoid supply shortages.

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