The U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac has said the time is ripe to invest in off grid and min-grid solutions to cut into the energy deficits in Uganda.
Amb. Malac made the announcement this on Tuesday at the East Africa Energy and Infrastructure Summit (EAEIS) in Kampala as PowerAfrica; a US government-led initiative announced a new $11million (about Shs39b) facility that will assist the Uganda government in establishing 1,000,000 new connections by 2020.
“This is an opportunity to discuss what w can do together, to support the private sector driven off-grid subsector,” Ms Malac said during the ceremony at the Kampala Serena Hotel. “The continuous innovations that off-grid companies are undertaking to help drive progress are commended. Solar systems provide a viable solution especially when demand is increasing at an average of ten percent each year.
The facility named Power Africa Uganda Electricity Supply Accelerator (PAUESA), also referred to as The Accelerator, is aligned both with Uganda’s objectives and the Power Africa Roadmap goal of increasing regional generation capacity by 30,000 MW and increasing connections by 60 million.
Its main objective is to facilitate the increase of clean energy electricity generation and electricity access among rural and urban communities in Uganda by working with clean energy generation and access.
Ms Malac flanked by UK High Commissioner Peter West also announced programmes to support the continued growth of energy access in Uganda in order to increase economic opportunities for all Ugandans.
Energy Africa, a UK Government-led initiative has been working closely with other development partners and the Government of Uganda to support the growth of the off-grid solar market through the establishment of a suitable enabling environment.
During the Expo, UK’s Department for International Development announced the launch of a one-year project to build the capacity and independence of the Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA).
The project, delivered through United Nations Capital Development Fund, will put in place an independent and ultimately self-financing USEA secretariat while incubating services for USEA members.
“Our members have demonstrated the opportunity that solar systems present for the economic growth and transformation of Uganda,” said Mr Emmy Kimbowa, the Chairman of USEA; Uganda’s apex membership body for solar system companies.