Kabagambe Kaliisa, the permanent secretary ministry of energy is confident Uganda will achieve its target of universal electrification by 2030. Kaliisa chairs the Rural Electrification Board-REB, which oversees the activities of the Rural Electrification Agency-REA that was set up in 2001 to extend electricity in rural areas. The country has targeted to achieve 10 percent of rural electrification by 2012, but rural access stands at only 5 percent while national electrification stands at less than 15 percent.
Despite this, Kaliisa says that with the new Rural Electrification Strategic Plan-RESP, the programme will perform way better than it has performed in the last 12 years and achieve the new target of 22 percent rural electrification by 2022 and universal access by 2030-2035. He says the ministry made a mistake during the first design by putting rural electrification mostly in the hands of the private sector saying that with the new plan government is now directly involved in providing financing for the infrastructure.
Kaliisa also says that the ministry is intensifying on the mode of delivery by investing heavily in solar power to benefit the highly isolated homes.
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He says there were also delays in the commencement of the first programme due to delayed funding adding that, the high population growth rate has also made it hard 2 increase electricity access. According to Kaliisa, the first three years of the new 10 year plan are going to be used for demarcating the service territories, procuring service providers and attract financing while the last seven years will be dedicated to implementation.
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He says another constraint was lack of enough power supply saying that with the completion of Bujagali the commencement of construction for both Karuma and Isimba and the undertaking of the feasibility study for Ayago power projects, the supply problem is almost solved. He explains that with supply constraints addressed, it will not be impossible to achieve access by 2030-2035.
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REA executive director Godfrey Turyahikayo said that about one billion dollars is required to finance the newly developed plan adding that the Agency targets to connect 1.35 million consumers on the grid and 150,000 off the grid with sola and mini-grid distribution service connections.