Ugandans in up country areas of Kasese, Soroti, Tororo, Mubende, Lira and Gomba will soon benefit from an additional 250megawatts (Mw) of electricity after the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) gives the nod to 11 wind and solar energy parks.Mola Solar Systems Uganda has filed a notice of inte
By Samuel Sanya
Ugandans in up country areas of Kasese, Soroti, Tororo, Mubende, Lira and Gomba will soon benefit from an additional 250megawatts (Mw) of electricity after the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) gives the nod to 11 wind and solar energy parks.
Mola Solar Systems Uganda has filed a notice of intended application for a license for generation and sale of electricity from solar and wind power parks in various parts of the country.
The company is yet to carry out feasibility studies leading to the development of a 20Mw solar power park in Kabulasoke, 10Mw in Lira, 20Mw in Nkenda, 50Mw in Nkonge and 50Mw in Opuyo.
Wind power parks planned for are 20Mw in Tororo, 10Mw in Nkenda, 15Mw in Nkonge, 5Mw at the banks of River Awoja, 20Mw in Kabulasoke and a 30Mw expansion in Tororo district.
Only 12% of 6.5 million households access electricity from the national grid, according to the Uganda National Household Survey report 2010.
Electricity demand is growing steadily at between 60Mw and 50Mw each year. The projects will ensure that supply and demand remain even.
ERA has issued statements inviting affected parties and local authorities in the affected areas to lodge objections before a go-ahead is given to the developers.
Tom Massa, a member of the electricity consumers committee of eastern Uganda, notes that the projects will ease the energy demand in the region.
Uganda is still experiencing one of the lowest electricity consumption per capita in the world currently at 75kWh per year. The current generation cannot support the medium-term government industrialisation plans, contributing to slow economic transformation.
Power demand is growing at 15% per annum. This means that every year, Uganda should be able to commission a 50Mw project online if we are to avoid reverting to loadshedding
The demand forecast was that the surplus energy Uganda is enjoying now will be consumed in the next 18 months before the undesired load-shedding returns.
The National Development Plan (NDP) clearly identifies limited generation capacity and corresponding limited transmission and distribution network among key constraints to the performance of the energy sector.
The NDP further set out increasing power generation capacity as the first objective to address the power shortage problem, and construction of larger hydropower plants as the first intervention strategy.
Wind, solar projects to add 250Mw to national grid