Overview of Uganda’s Renewable Energy Potential
Uganda is richly endowed with abundant energy resources, which are fairly distributed throughout the country. These include hydropower, biomass, solar, geothermal, peat and fossil fuels. The energy resource potential of the country includes an estimated 2,000 MW of hydro power, 450 MW of geothermal, 1,650 MW of biomass cogeneration, 460 million tons of biomass standing stock with a sustainable annual yield of 50 million tons, an average of 5.1 kWh/m2 of solar energy, and about 250 Million tons of peat (800 MW).The overall renewable energy power generation potential is estimated to be 5,300 MW.
Biomass is the predominant type of energy used in Uganda, accounting for 94% of the total energy consumption in the country. Charcoal is mainly used in the urban areas while firewood, agro-residues and wood wastes are widely used in the rural areas although the sugar cane industry is currently using it to produce electricity in a cogeneration process. The total standing biomass stock is stated with 284.1 million tons with a potential sustainable biomass supply of 45 million tons. However, accessible sustainable wood biomass supply stands at 26 million tons. This amount meets 59% of the total demand of 44 million tons per year.
The average solar radiation is 5.1 kWh/m2/day and it is the renewable energy resource on the market with the highest adoption rate in Uganda. Existing solar data clearly indicate that the solar energy resource in Uganda is high throughout the year with a variation (max month / min month) of only about maximum 20% (from 4.5 to 5.5 W/m2), which is due to the location near the equator. The insolation is highest in the dryer area in the north-east and very low in the mountains in the east and south-west.