In 2017, the GET FiT Programme has gone from strength to strength, securing its place as a leading private investment programme in Uganda’s burgeoning renewable energy sector. With a growing portfolio of small-scale renewable energy generation projects promoted by private developers, GET FiT is moving ever closer to its objective of climate resilient, low-carbon energy generation, resulting in growth, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation.
In the last year, three hydropower plants have been commissioned - the first in the portfolio - as well as a second solar plant at Tororo. All GET FiT projects now have Power Purchasing Agreements and technical support. This, alongside the rigour of the Ugandan Electricity Regulatory Authority checking compliance and viability, means that the majority of projects are advancing well towards reaching commercial operation in 2018.
The UK is proud to be the largest donor within the GET FiT Programme. Alongside stable investment, the key to the lasting success of the Programme has been effective collaboration and support. Together, the EU and the governments of Uganda, Germany, Norway and the UK have ensured that Uganda is working towards stabilising, diversifying and securing its energy production.
Despite the strides taken over the past four years, there are further obstacles to overcome. The success of the GET FiT Programme has highlighted wider issues within the energy sector. Including the new high power output hydroelectric generation being developed in Uganda, electricity generation programmes are likely to result in an electricity surplus in the short to medium term, whilst currently over 80% of Ugandans still lack access to electricity.
It’s vital that this gap is bridged by opportunities to drive private sector development. Solutions, both on and off-grid, are at the heart of meeting the ever increasing demand for access to electricity in Uganda. There needs to be an increase in connectivity, access, and employment opportunities. Using innovation, continued collaboration, and by harnessing Uganda’s young and growing population, the GET FiT Programme is well positioned to further increase the strength and sustainability of the ever more crucial renewable energy sector in Uganda.