By Max Patrick Ocaido
Uganda’s electricity supply industry has registered a huge growth in terms of generation, transmission and distribution, a new report reveals.
According to the Electricity Supply Industry report for the year January 2016 to December 2017, Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), national regulatory body has revealed that as at the end of 2017, 21 plants with a total installation capacity of 927.4 MW (Megawatts) were generating electricity to the national grid. Five of these plants with a total capacity of 38.2 MW were commissioned during the reporting period.
These included the country’s first two on-grid solar PV Plants [Access Uganda Solar PV in Soroti and Tororo Solar North Solar PV in Tororo district). Each of the solar PV plants is 10MW.
Other plants commissioned include; Muvumbe Hydro Power Plant (6.5MW), Siti 1 Hydro Power Plant (6.2 MW) and Rwimi Hydro Power Plant (5.5MW).
ERA in its latest report released last week indicates that Uganda’s electricity generation sector has registered a growth of 11% in 2017.
“In 2017; 3,855.5 GWh was generated as compared to 3,489.1 GWh (Gigawatt hours) in 2016 representing a growth of 11%. Large hydro plants (Bujagali operated by Bujagali Energy Limited, Kiira and Nalubale operated by Eskom Uganda Limited) contributed 3,173 GWh (82%) of the total energy in 2017 and 2958.6 GWh (85%) of energy in 2016,” the report reads in part.
In terms of power transmission, the ERA report shows that Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) purchased 3,867.1 GWh in 2017 as compared to 3,549.0 GWh in 2016 signifying a 9% increment.
UETCL is a parastatal company whose primary purpose is to make bulk electricity purchases and transmit the electricity along high voltage wires to local and foreign distribution points.
Whereas UETCL also sold 3,715.9 GWh in 2017 as compared to 3,400.1 GWh in 2016, the report shows that about 90% of the energy sold by UETCL in 2017 was sold to UMEME (U) Limited, the largest energy distributor in the country.
In terms of distribution and supply of electricity, the ERA report also shows that UMEME Ltd sold 2,762.6 GWh in 2017 as compared to 2,570 GWh in 2016 representing a 7% increment.
“Mini-grids sold 39.1 GWh in 2017 as compared to 23.7GWh in 2016 signifying a 64% increment. At the same time, off grids generated 18.3 GWh in 2017 of which 13.7 GW was sold to end users giving a 34% growth,” the report says.
Mini-grids are the small distribution companies that sell electricity especially in the rural peripherals where UMEME does not operate.
There are 5 Mini-grids including Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL), Pader Abim Community Multipurpose Electric Cooperative Society Limited (PACMECS), Bundibugyo Energy Cooperative Society (BECS), Kilembe Investment Limited (KIL), and Kyegegwa Rural Electricity Cooperation Society (KRECS).