Examining the status of the energy sector in Uganda with focus on electricity

Bbuye Martin


Energy is one of the key sectors in Uganda’s economy.  The present peak demand is about 40 MW and growing at an annual rate of 8%.  Therefore, in order to meet this growth demand, about 20 MW of new generating capacity needs to be added each year (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD), 2009). Observation was made on the major method used for collecting data for the status of energy sector. This chapter was derived from objective entitled examining the status of the energy sector in Uganda with focus on electricity of the study.


According to the National Development Plan (NDP- 2010/11-2014), energy is one of the complementary sectors. The NDP highlights the limited access and use of energy as a factor that significantly slows down economic and social transformation. The low energy consumption per capita in Uganda is identified as a major contributing factor to the slow economic transformation by limiting industrialization as well as value addition. Energy exploitation and consumption patterns indicate that Uganda is still in infancy stage of energy application in production. The current exploitation pattern of energy in Uganda comprises Biomass (92%), Fossil Fuels (7%) and Electricity (1%). Most of the residential/domestic energy consumption is biomass used in form of wood as charcoal and firewood, a situation that is not sustainable as this form of energy is nonrenewable, costly and has significant negative impacts on the environment (MEMD, 2002).  The NDP identifies low level of access, high tariff and low generation as the main reasons for a lot of reliance on biomass energy. This pattern also explains the low levels of industrialization and commercial production in the country.

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