Uganda’s clean electricity supply and policy efforts can deliver further progress towards its energy and climate targets

Aerial View Of Roundabout Under Construction On The Northern Bypass Project Kampala Uganda Gettyimages 1181396293

IEA in-depth review of Uganda’s energy and climate policies, the first prepared for a country in sub-Saharan Africa, finds strong foundations for ambitious energy and climate agenda

Uganda’s efforts to achieve its ambitious energy and climate goals are bolstered by the country’s clean electricity sector, substantial natural resources and commitment to expanding energy access, according to a new in-depth review by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The report, published today, provides a comprehensive overview of Uganda’s energy sector. It was launched at an event in Kampala with IEA Deputy Executive Director Mary Burce Warlick, Uganda’s Minister of State for Energy Okaasai Opolot and Norway’s Ambassador to Uganda Anne Kristin Hermansen.

The analysis was conducted in collaboration with Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, which is drawing on the IEA’s expertise as it develops its Energy Transition Plan. The strategy, a pillar of Uganda’s drive to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, will launch during the upcoming COP28 climate change conference in Dubai.

Uganda already has in place much of the technical expertise, government institutions and policy frameworks needed to reach its energy and climate targets, the report finds. It is also a regional leader in high-quality energy data and statistics.

Abundant energy resources provide significant opportunities, too. Almost all of Uganda’s electricity is generated from renewables, and substantial hydropower and solar resources remain untapped. Uganda also has sizable petroleum deposits and fertile soils, as well as reserves of many minerals that are essential components in a lot of today’s rapidly growing clean energy technologies, including iron ore, phosphates, copper and cobalt.

Still, more work is needed improve Uganda’s data coverage, shore up electricity grids, and expand energy efficiency measures – and to deliver universal access to affordable and reliable electricity and clean cooking supplies, though the government has identified this as a priority. Right now, around 30% of the population has access to electricity and less than 6% has access to clean cooking fuels.

Many projects to address these challenges would benefit from partnerships between the public and private sector, both domestically and internationally, according to the report. Currently, the cost of capital remains a major challenge, with high interest rates holding back investment in the country’s energy infrastructure, as is the case across the region.

“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,” said IEA Deputy Executive Director Mary Burce Warlick. “We hope this report and its recommendations can serve as a helpful guide for policy makers – and that as Uganda charts its path forward, the international community will match its ambitions with the necessary support.”