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Uganda's Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has revealed that under the GET FiT programme, Uganda is set to fast-track the portfolio of up to 15 small-scale renewable energy generation projects (1MW-20MW)
These projects are promoted by private developers under the government’s Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFiT) programme. The project is expected to add about 150MW of installed capacity to the Ugandan electricity grid within the next 3-5 years resulting in emission reductions of 11 million tonnes of CO2.
The main objective of the GET FiT Programme is to assist East African nations in pursuing a climate resilient low-carbon development path resulting in growth, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation.
The regulatory body also informed that towards the end of 2013, the Uganda government, supported by the German government-owned development bank KfW, signed the first three developer financing agreements under the GET FiT programme.
The three projects include Nyamwamba SHP, Rwimi SHP both located in western Uganda and Nengo Bridge SHP in south western Uganda, which when completed, will provide an additional 22MW of clean and sustainable energy to the country's national grid by 2015.
After the first round, eight private renewable energy projects have been selected which will add 85MW annually to the Ugandan grid within the next two years. On conclusion of the ongoing second round, GET FiT is expected to facilitate further private investment totalling US$400mn for the envisaged total of 150MW.
GET FiT programme is supported by Norway, EU-Africa ITF, UK DFID/DECC, Germany and the World Bank. GET FiT will additionally support the government and ERA with the launch of the first tender for on-grid Solar/PV generation in East Africa which will add an additional 20-50MW as early as 2015.
According to Dr Norbert Kloppenburg, KfW board member, the programme will have a tremendous effect on the Ugandan electricity sector.
“In addition to hydro power, bagasse co-generation and biomass, the first grid connected solar projects will be supported under GET FiT in 2014. This will add at least an additional 20MW of renewable energy to the Ugandan system and all together, increase Uganda's current electricity generation capacity by over 20 per cent,” he said during the signing of the first Developer Financing Agreements under GET FiT in Uganda.
Kloppenburg said that the signing was the first step towards private renewable energy investments in Uganda.
By Geoffrey Muleme