This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 8/3/2017

Overview
Uganda’s energy sector attracts one of the largest investments by the GOU and the private sector.  Uganda has a total primary energy consumption of 0.0593 quadrillion Btu which equals 14.94 M tons of oil equivalent (2012).  Biomass is still the most important source of energy for the majority of the Ugandan population.  About 90 percent of the total primary energy consumption is generated through biomass, including firewood (78.6 percent), charcoal (5.6 percent) and crop residues (4.7 percent).  Electricity contributes 1.4 percent to the national energy balance while oil products, which are mainly used for vehicles and thermal power plants, account for the remaining 9.7 percent.
 
According to the 2015 data from the UBOS, Uganda has 895 MW of installed electricity capacity, increasing from 595 MW in 2011, of which approximately 695 MW is hydroelectric, and 136 MW is thermal generating capacity, and the remainder generated from sugar cane operations.  The Ugandan government is building additional large hydropower facilities such as the 600MW Karuma hydro and the 183MW Isimba Falls hydro project.  At a national level, Uganda has one of the lowest electrification rates in Africa; 20 percent of Ugandans have access to electricity, dropping to 10 percent in rural areas.  Uganda currently has one of the lowest per capita electricity consumption rates in the world with 215 kWh per capita per year (Sub-Saharan Africa’s average: 552 kWh per capita, World average: 2,975 per capita).  Full commissioning of the 250 megawatt Bujagali Hydropower Project in 2012 has alleviated Uganda’s power deficit, but demand is growing at 10 percent per year, and could gradually outstrip supply again.  Uganda has approximately 1400‐1500 km of transmission lines (over 33kV), which the government aims to double.  There are plans to upgrade existing transmission lines and develop a 220kV “ring” around Lake Victoria in conjunction with Kenya and Tanzania.

Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Authority regulates distribution with cost‐reflective tariffs.  The average tariff to consumers is $0.17/kWh ($0.11/kWh for industrial users), with the first 15 units of power subsidized.  The Electricity Act of 1999 initiated extensive power sector reforms in Uganda by establishing the Electricity Regulatory Authority as an independent regulator and by enabling private participation in the power sector; reforms have allowed independent power producers to generate electricity and sell it to the grid.
 
Umeme Co. Ltd. is the largest energy distributor in Uganda, distributing 97 percent of all electricity in the country.  As of January 2016, Umeme's customer base was about 790,000, with approximately 16,000 customers being added every month.  Power transmission above 33kV is handled by the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL).  The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) was established to license and regulate operations of all electricity operators, and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) was put in place to ensure that rural electrification, which in most cases is not commercially viable, is accelerated to achieve set targets.  The Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) is mandated with the development, operation and maintenance of clean energy generation facilities on behalf of Government of Uganda and monitoring other generation concessions.
 
Power Africa Support: Power Africa provides broad support to the Ugandan energy sector including transaction advisory services for small-scale renewable generation plants) off grid access, including USAID Development Credit Authority loan portfolio guarantees for cleaner energy access.  Power Africa’s BTG partners are already working to bring power to rural Ugandans.  Firms such as BBOXX, Virunga, MKOPA, and Fenix International, among others, have developed and deployed innovative technologies, which have provided electricity to thousands of people in Uganda for the first time.  Learn more about how Power Africa is collaborating to address key challenges in Uganda’s electricity sector and supporting private sector investment in energy at: USAID - Uganda .
 
From current levels, Power Africa Uganda aims to add 1,000 MW of clean energy and 1,000,000 new connections by 2020.  Investors have a unique opportunity to participate in Uganda’s energy sector due to GOU incentives and broad participation by the private sector.  Uganda is one of the few sub-Saharan African countries to have liberalized its energy market, with generation, transmission and supply segments unbundled since 2001.  Independent power producers currently account for 58 percent of generation capacity, a share which is set to grow in the near term as a pipeline of smaller renewables projects are developed.

Electricity Stats

2012

2013

2014

2015

Total Installed Capacity (megawatts)

718

828

885

896

Total Electricity Purchases (gigawatt hours)

2944

3040

3203

3335

Total Electricity Sales (gigawatt hours)

2738

2930

3098

3219

Residential customers

456,248

540,694

640,025

797,205

Commercial customers

42,874

52,940

61,518

72,266

Industrial customers

369

359

348

311

 Leading Sub-Sectors
Renewable energy:  The GOU is working to expand its power supply by constructing a number of micro-hydro projects along the Nile River and is promoting the development of other sources of renewable energy, such as off-grid solar power systems.  The government continues to explore options to develop its geothermal reserves in western Uganda.

Opportunities
The GOU is fast-tracking the construction of the Karuma and Isimba hydropower projects (600MW and 183MW respectively).  The GOU is also constructing other small hydropower plants (Nyamwamba 9.2MW, Siti 15MW, Waki 5MW, Rwimi 5.4MW, Kikagati 16MW and Nengo Bridge 7.5MW).  Western Uganda contains geothermal deposits which have the potential to produce 150 megawatts of electricity.

Web Resources

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Uganda Energy Trade Development and Promotion