In a major stride towards achieving its ambitious energy and climate objectives, Uganda’s commitment to clean electricity is highlighted in a comprehensive report released recently by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The study, launched at an event in Kampala, underscores Uganda’s substantial natural resources and dedication to expanding energy access. The report, presented at the event by IEA Deputy Executive Director Mary Burce Warlick alongside Uganda’s Minister of State for Energy, Okaasai Opolot, and Norway’s Ambassador to Uganda, Anne Kristin Hermansen, offers a thorough examination of Uganda’s energy sector. The analysis, conducted in collaboration with Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, plays a crucial role in shaping the country’s Energy Transition Plan.
Set to debut during the upcoming COP28 climate change conference in Dubai, Uganda’s Energy Transition Plan is a cornerstone of its commitment to the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. The IEA report commends Uganda for possessing the technical expertise, government institutions, and policy frameworks necessary to reach its energy and climate targets, positioning the country as a regional leader in high-quality energy data.
Uganda’s abundant energy resources, primarily sourced from renewables, provide significant opportunities for further development. The country boasts untapped hydropower and solar resources, sizable petroleum deposits, and reserves of key minerals essential for rapidly growing clean energy technologies.
However, the IEA report notes that more effort is needed to enhance Uganda’s data coverage, strengthen electricity grids, and expand energy efficiency measures. Despite being a priority for the government, achieving universal access to affordable and reliable electricity and clean cooking supplies remains a challenge, with only 30% of the population having access to electricity and less than 6% to clean cooking fuels.
The report suggests that collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors, both domestically and internationally, are crucial to addressing these challenges. Currently, the high cost of capital, marked by elevated interest rates, hampers investments in Uganda’s energy infrastructure, a challenge shared across the region.
IEA Deputy Executive Director Mary Burce Warlick expressed optimism about Uganda’s potential, stating, “Our new report finds that Uganda is well equipped to drive further progress towards its energy and climate goals. With the right packages of policies, this can reinforce the global energy transition while producing significant economic and social benefits for the Ugandan people. We hope this report and its recommendations can serve as a helpful guide for policymakers – and that as Uganda charts its path forward, the international community will match its ambitions with the necessary support.”