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Three private groups with geothermal licenses in Uganda

Geothermal Resources in Uganda (source: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda)
Alexander Richter 8 Oct 2018

With a potential estimated of up to 1,500 MW, only three of 24 geothermal areas have licenses for potential development by private developers in Uganda, East Africa.

At a recent conference on mineral wealth in Uganda, Mr. Godfrey Bahati, Commissioner and Geothermal Resources Department, Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development of Uganda provided an overview on geothermal energy opportunities in Uganda, East Africa.

The potential resources for development of geothermal are estimated to be 1,500 MW in 24 known geothermal areas in Uganda. The four major areas with potential and having seen some surface exploration include Kibiro, Panyimur, Buranga and Katwe.

There are currently three areas with geothermal licenses in the country: Buranga held by Gids Consult Ltd, Ihimbo held by Moto Geothermal Projekt Limited and Panyigoro by Bantu Energy (U) Limited.

“The aim of geothermal energy is to develop energy to compliment hydro and other sources of power to meet the energy demand of Uganda in sound environment”, so Mr Bahati

With a current total installed power generation capacity of around 893 MW with about 724 MW of operating capacity. But with an electricity coverage of 18% for the whole country, and only 7% for rural areas a lot is to be done. The annual demand for electricity is growing at about 8% per year.

There is a goal of geothermal development of up to 100 MW by 2025.

The country has received support by different entities, among them the African Rift Geothermal Development Facility (ARGeo), the Climate Technology Centre Network (CTCN) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded East Africa Geothermal Energy Facility (EAGER) represented by Adam Smith International (ASI).

There are also agreements on partnerships under MoU between Government of Uganda and Toshiba, an MoU with Government of Kenya and Rwanda, as well as funding under the Energy for Rural Transformation (ERT III) by the World Bank.

But while some of these entities have received funding under the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) for East Africa.

Source: ARGeo, Geothermal Energy Development Update 2016