Africa Energy: US, UK commit $11mi for Uganda’s off-grid energy solutions

Electric powerlines
3D Electric powerlines over sunrise

Power Africa, a US government-led initiative, has announced the launch of the Power Africa Uganda Electricity Supply Accelerator, an $11m (over sh40b) activity that will support the Government of Uganda’s electrification goals.

The Accelerator will facilitate the addition of 1,000 megawatts of generation capacity and 1,000,000 new electricity connections by 2020.

The initiative builds on existing Power Africa support to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) for enhancing electricity access and improving the regulatory framework for mini-grids.

The announcement occurred at the Uganda Solar Energy Association Expo at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Kampala.

Senior officials from the Governments of Uganda and the United States as well as other Power Africa partners highlighted important developments in Uganda’s off-grid electrification efforts.

More than 40 local and international solar companies showcased solutions for lighting off-grid homes, businesses, and public buildings; irrigating farmland; and much more.

US Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, and UK High Commissioner, Peter West, also announced programs to support the continued growth of energy access in Uganda in order to increase economic opportunities for all Ugandans.

“Solar home systems can contribute greatly to national development,” said Ambassador Malac, adding; “With solar energy, we can power irrigation systems; we can store medicine in rural health centers; and we can improve the quality of education children receive.”

Energy Africa, a UK Government-led initiative, has been working closely with other development partners and the Government of Uganda to support the growth of the solar market by establishing a suitable enabling environment.

During the Expo, UK’s Department for International Development announced the launch of a one-year project to build the capacity and independence of the Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA).

The project, delivered through United Nations Capital Development Fund, will put in place an independent and ultimately self-financing USEA secretariat while incubating services for USEA members.source:newvision.co.ug

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