The State Minister for Energy, Okasai Opolot has welcomed the UK investors to invest into the country’s renewable energy sector.
“For people who desire to invest in renewable energy, we are prepared to provide an enabling environment for you to succeed. Our country is endowed with abundant renewable resources and being at the equator, we have more than eight hours of sunshine every day and it is untapped. We have a big potential of about 5000 megawatts from solar if we use rudimentary technology but we can expand it because every part of county is capable of generating energy trough solar. We also have over 1700 megawatts of renewable biomass, 1500megawatts from geothermal but also a potential for wind energy,”Okasai said.
The minister was speaking during the “Energy Catalyst Forum 2022” organized by the Uganda National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Alliance (UNREEEA) at Skyz Hotel in Naguru.
He noted that as Uganda continues on its road to urbanization more biodegradable waste is generated and that all can be turned into energy which presents an opportunity for investment.
“We are assessing technology to harness this energy but we are looking for investors in the private sector to invest in it. We have an ambitious plan to have everybody connected to have at least 80% coverage by 2040 and private sector will be playing a lead role in this with renewable energy.”
The Energy Minister said renewable energy is anchored into the country’s policies and development plans to ensure its development, adding that government’s objectives, strategies and targets present big investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
“Renewable energy is well aligned in our midterm and long term targets. Among targets in medium term is to double the share of renewable energy within our national energy mix. This is a deliberate effort to ensure the population has access to clean energy for use in households, institutions and industries.”
The UK High Commissioner to Uganda, Kate Airey said the private sector can play a key role in the development of the renewable energy sector in the country.
“Renewable energy is one of our top priorities here in Uganda. We as the UK are ready to support you because we think renewable energy investment generates real possible economic return for businesses. There are huge benefits and not only transition of global climate level but improved public health, great to use for global sustainable level, creation of jobs in the green sector. The private sector is central in achieving these targets within the renewable energy sector. To this we are looking at investing in Lake Victoria marine transport, Namanve industrial park, solar water irrigation systems but we are also looking at injecting more money into this journey Uganda is on,” Airey said.
She said the UK government has contributed about 6% towards Uganda’s national renewable electricity supply through private investment, noting that they are keen to get tangible projects that can accelerate renewable energy development.
“The private sector is for us the most important player in supporting Uganda’s energy transition. There are so many new technologies by the private sector from UK and we think they have a great potential here in Uganda.”
She called for partnership between the UK and Ugandan investors in the private sector to development the renewable energy sector.
According to Alexander Akena, the chairman of the Uganda National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Alliance (UNREEEA) over 2700 small and medium enterprises in the renewable energy sector are ready to join hands and help the country’s economy and environment.
“We have companies that look into electric vehicles, boda bodas and many other investments to contribute to lower emissions and cleaner environment. We are looking at increased productive uses of solar energy but we are struggling with funds. The type of funding available is so stringent and doesn’t favour local companies,”Akena said.
He urged the local companies to collaborate with the UK investors to help in development of their technologies in the renewable energy sector.
The UNREEEA chairman said their office will always be ready to give support but also open some doors for collaboration between the Ugandan and UK private sector investors in the renewable energy sector.