GET FiT Forum 2016

ERA held a two day GET FiT Forum on 30 – 31 May 2016, funded by the GET FiT TA Facility. The first day comprised a public multi-stakeholder event aimed at addressing the broader topic of private sector investment and small-scale RE project development in Uganda.

The event also served as a publicity opportunity to communicate the achievements of the GET FiT program as well as to review lessons learnt from the program´s implementation phase. The event provided a platform to discuss the future of private sector investment in the Ugandan RE sector, and the future role of public, private and commercial investors and financing institutions. The public event closed with a celebratory dinner for key stakeholders and GET FiT representatives hosted by ERA. The ERA launched its new corporate identity during the dinner.

Panel discussion at the GET FiT Forum (Photo: GET FiT)

The second day of the Forum consisted of technical level workshops for ERA staff. The workshops were prepared and administered by Multiconsult in cooperation with the Investment Committee members (Anton Eberhard, Vincent Kasangaki, Sylvia Kreibiehl and Jim Cohen). The objective of the workshops was to share experience from project appraisal and supervision through interaction with the experts of the GET FiT Investment Committee and Implementation Consultant. Through various technical sessions, key experiences, lessons learned and insights of the international experts were shared with the ERA team. Important inter-disciplinary dependencies between environmental and social, technical and economic aspects were discussed during the sessions.

Environmental & Social: A joint session on management of environmental and social impacts and risks covered three main areas. Firstly, the overall appraisal and scoring frameworks applied in GET FiT were summarised. Secondly, the main appraisal and scoring elements and issues were presented. Finally, some lessons and experiences from the appraisals and construction supervision visits so far were highlighted. A break-out session with ERA environmental and social staff went into further details on management of environmental and social risks.

Technical: The procedures and lessons learnt from technical appraisals of GET FiT applicant projects were presented briefly in a joint session for all participants. More detailed discussion between technical ERA staff and the Implementation Consultant were held in a break-out session. It was discussed how ERA and developers can build on lessons learnt from GET FiT (in particular with regards to hydrology assessment and plant optimisation), to ensure efficient implementation of RE projects going forward. 

Economic & financial: The session on economic and financial appraisals was carried out with ERA staff, but a few donors and members of the Investment Committee attended as well. The session covered three main areas. Firstly, the overall appraisal and scoring frameworks applied in GET FiT were summarized, as were the results and implications for the applicant projects under RFP2 and 3. Secondly, the specific relevance and points of emphasis for ERA, as the regulator, were discussed in detail. Thirdly, the specific nature and implications of limited-recourse project finance as applied in most GET FiT projects was presented and discussed. Throughout the session, project fundamentals (e.g. capex/MW, plant factors, key risk factors) were emphasized and the influence on financial viability and bankability were addressed. Investment Committee members participated actively in the discussion, providing practical insights and suggestions. The session was rounded off by a group case-study regarding one of the applicant projects from RFP 3, and a final round-the-table comment period regarding key takeaways for ERA from the GET FiT financial and economic appraisal approach.