Uganda has unexploited hydro power potential along the River Nile and other small rivers in the country. The hydroelectric power potential of Uganda is high and is estimated at over 2,000 MW, mainly along the River Nile.
There is potential demand for electricity in Uganda as a small portion of the population has access to electricity. Over 80 % of the rural population still use paraffin lanterns for lighting and firewood for cooking. In addition most organisations operating in Uganda still have backup generators for operation of their businesses which means the power supply is often not regular and reliable.
The installed bulk of current power is generated by the hydroelectric plant at Owen Falls (the 180 MW Nalubaale station and the 200 MW Kiira station) on the Victoria Nile. There exists a small hydro power station at Maziba with an installed capacity of about 2 MW and independent power generation at Kilembe Mines and Kasese Cobalt Ltd with a combined capacity of over 15 MW. It has been estimated that there is another 80 MW of privately installed captive generation capacity.
A number of projects aimed at improving Uganda’s power supply and increasing access to electricity have already been approved and are in the process of implementation.
The solar energy resource is high throughout the year with a mean radiation of 4-5kw/m2 per day on a horizontal surface. This level of isolation is quite favourable for the application of a number of solar technologies.
It is important to note that the application of the solar solution has high in front costs which makes it less favourable in terms of pricing and affordability when compared with other sources of energy.
There is limited use of solar energy in Uganda mainly for water heating, cooling and crop drying. In order to increase the level of usage, there is a need for the government to put a law in place which obligates urban and other developers to invest in solar technologies. The use of solar energy will reduce the pressure on hydro energy.
The wind speeds in most areas of Uganda are moderate and sufficient for small scale electricity generation for use by small mills and also for special application like water pumping. The wind form of energy has not been exploited for usage especially in remote rural areas.
The. country has not yet exploited the potential of using solid waste, wood, and agricultural waste to produce power. There is plenty of waste generated especially in the urban areas which could be used for power generation power.
.The potential areas for geothermal include Katwe-Kikorongo. Buranga and Kibiro. The plan of government is to develop the potential areas to a pre-feasibility stage. This will enable government to provide reliable information to the potential investors. There are a number of hot springs spread all over the country which points to potential for geothermal power .heat energy buried underneath the earth’s surface is responsible for heating the water in the hot springs..