Uganda: COP28 - Uganda Inks Deal for 105MW Solar Energy Plant

COP28 is being held at Expo City Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
5 December 2023

Uganda has made strides in achieving its renewable energy targets by signing a Memorandum of Understanding that will see a UAE company construct a 150MW solar energy plant in the eastern part of the country.

The agreement signed during the ongoing climate change summit(COP28) in Dubai, UAE will see Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC - Masdar construct the plant is part of a broader 1GW collaboration, marking a significant step in Uganda's sustainable energy journey.

The event was officiated by Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja, and attended by key figures including Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Henry Okello Oryem, Minister for Regional Cooperation, and Zaake Kibeedi, Uganda's Ambassador to the UAE.

"This transformative initiative not only addresses our escalating electricity demand but also enhances electricity accessibility and generates employment opportunities for Ugandans," PM Nabbanja said.

The Energy Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa emphasised the need for a grid stability study to ensure the project's seamless integration without harming the existing grid.

On their part, Masdar affirmed its readiness to fund this crucial aspect of the project.

"We are committed to bringing the most technically proficient independent companies by April 2024 to conduct the grid stability studies. These studies, which we have conducted before, will benefit other electricity projects in Uganda," said Abdulla Zayed, Masdar's Head of Development Investment (Africa).

Building on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in August 2022, the government of Uganda and Masdar agreed to develop greenfield renewable energy projects totaling to 1GW.

This commitment aligns with Uganda's strategy to capitalise on its abundant renewable energy resources for sustainable industrialisation.

The Minister announced that the project would be established in the Kween district and include constructing a line from Mbale to Bulambuli to transmit power to the national grid.

Uganda sets 2050 as the year to hit is 100% renewable energy target.

A recent study by the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and its partners indicated that Uganda would need in excess of $390 billion to achieve the 100% renewable target.

"If we are to go renewable energy 100% by 2050, it means 90% has to be solar energy and only 10% from other sources including hydrogen . To achieve this target of 100% renewable energy, Uganda requires $390 billion of upfront investment," said Yona Turinayo, the coordinator energy, climate and extractives at WWF recently.

To achieve the target, Uganda needs to move away from its current over reliance on biomass but also have an improvements on its energy mix.

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