Uganda is expected to have a power generation capacity of about 1,600 megawatts by the end of this year, against a demand of 950, leaving a surplus of more than 500 megawatts. There have therefore been calls on the government of Uganda abandon the thermal energy which is considered expensive and also environmentally not friendly
Energy company, Jacobsen Uganda Power Plant Company Ltd, applies
to have its license renewed for the operation of the Namanve Thermal Power plant,
amid protests questioning the need for its expensive power when the country is generating more electricity than the existing demand.
The license to run the plant that uses heavy fuel oil expired
The 50 MW
plant was handed over to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), a
government agency that oversees the generation of electricity in the country.
Jacobsen’s concession is renewed annually as a generator for any possible
emergency like a breakdown in the supply of hydro-dominated power, or in case
there is need to increase supply.
operates two thermal plants, the other one being the Electromaxx Uganda, that
runs a 20 mw plant in Tororo.
energy mix, thermal is the most expensive source of electricity, with the
government spending 18 US cents or 665 shillings per unit, compared to 11 cents
that power from Bujagali costs, which is also considered one of the highest
rates on the continent.
been calls on the government of Uganda abandon the thermal energy which is
considered expensive and not friendly to the environment.
Kamugisha, the Chief Executive of the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO),
wonders why the government does not consider solar which is a cheaper source,
but also adds that currently Uganda has enough power to warrant more
//Cue in; One
of the things…
also environmentally bad.”//
On the move by
the regulator to call for submission of views by affected parties, Kamugisha
doubts that they can yield anything since even the government has refused to
reveal the contents of the contract it has with the companies.
//Cue in; We’ve
Cue out... every other day.”//
Regulatory Authority, says it has Jacobsen’s application for the license
renewal and is calling on directly affected parties and public agencies or
authorities to inspect the application and give views.
It says thermal
energy is kept in the energy mix for purposes of security of supply and when
for instance water levels fall, or when there is a failure in hydro and a
blackout, thermal comes in as an emergency option.
On why they
stick with the expensive thermal energy instead of the cheaper solar, ERA
Director for Corporate Affairs, Julius Wandera says those proposing solar do
not know how unreliable it can be.
//Cue in; They don’t know…
expected to have a power generation capacity of about 1,600 megawatts by the
end of this year, against a demand of 950, leaving a surplus of more than 500