Knowledge Transfer

The joint implementation of a sizable project portfolio within a limited timeframe provides a unique and important opportunity for knowledge transfer between ERA and the GET FiT Implementation Consultant. Following requests from ERA, specific areas of knowledge transfer closely linked to the implementation of the GET FiT portfolio were established and are now being implemented. In 2017, a Concept Note outlining a range of activities was developed by ERA with support of the Implementation Consultant (Multiconsult), and the following areas of knowledge transfer were selected. The knowledge transfer is funded by DFID.

  1. Management of renewable energy projects under construction.
  2. Follow-up of environmental & social compliance for renewable energy projects.
  3. Design optimisation for small hydropower plants.
  4. Determination of Return on Equity in the Ugandan electricity supply industry.

Item 4 above was concluded in 2018: In the determination of the Ugandan Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff in 2016, assumptions were made by ERA regarding the applicable Return on Equity (ROE) for the respective technologies. However, ERA lacked a clear methodology for determination of ROEs. In order to provide more certainty to developers during investment decisions, ERA needed to establish a methodology and model template. To address these needs, ERA, with support from the Consultant, developed a regulatory framework document for the determination of Return on Equity in the Ugandan electricity sector and an associated Excel model for calculation. The work was carried out during the first half of 2018 and included a one-week workshop and training in Kampala for ERA staff, organised by the Consultant as part of the GET FiT knowledge transfer component.

Items 1 to 3 were integrated in the activities of ERA together with the Implementation Consultant during supervision visits and through the organisation of workshops, establishment and institutionalisation of procedures and checklists, as well as discussions on practical and academic matters. A knowledge transfer planning session between the Implementation Consultant and ERA was undertaken during the Q2 2018 supervision visit, and capacity building requirements identified in relation to the engineering design and construction supervision of hydropower projects. In addition to the sharing of knowledge and experiences during jointly undertaken supervision visits, capacity building in relation to Health & Safety aspects was particularly highlighted by the ERA team as an important learning area. In that regard, training and reference material in relation to key construction activities such as working at height and with scaffolding systems, excavation practices, the use of personal protective equipment, etc. were shared. Additionally, identification and documentation of design issues, inspection procedures, and checklists were developed further prior to an initial workshop between key Multiconsult and ERA team members in Kampala in Q3 2018. Further workshops are planned during the first half of 2019 to consolidate and finalise the procedures and checklists and to plan for the preparation of institutionalised documents to be used by ERA in the future.

ERA’s environmental and social staff worked with the Implementation Consultant in developing guidance material, undertaking joint construction supervision and post-COD visits, and in analysing lessons from GET FiT projects as the basis for practically oriented knowledge transfer. Environmental and social checklists reflecting both Ugandan regulations and international standards have been drafted, tested and refined during supervision visits and will be finalised in the first half of 2019. The checklists refer mainly to hydropower project development, construction and operation - and will feed into ERA’s work in reviewing applications for feasibility study permits and generation licences, as well as the compliance monitoring for licensed projects.

Lessons are being analysed and documented with the objective of preparing conference papers and journal articles for dissemination in and beyond Uganda and based on the unique sample of project lessons that the GET FiT portfolio represents.