Uganda targets geothermal development of up to 100 MW by 2025

Skyline of Kampala, capital of Uganda (source: flickr/ Todd Huffman, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 18 Oct 2018

With 24 geothermal sites identified and several private players working on projects, the government of Uganda is optimistic on reaching a 100 MW of geothermal power generation capacity target by 2025.

Earlier this month during a mining conference, the Ugandan government highlighted the status and ambition for geothermal energy development. But despite the considered geothermal potential, challenges remain in the development and utilisation of the resources. Now the government shows its ambition to develop up to 100 MW in geothermal power generation capacity in the country, as reported by Afrik21. The geothermal resource potential is estimated at 1,500 MW.

With its ongoing economic growth, the country sees increasing energy demand. The Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is reporting that electricity demand has been growing on average of 8% per year.  Currently, the overall power generation capacity is at 893 MW.

So while geothermal energy could be a key source for electricity generation and counter the over-reliance on hydropower and thermal power, the government has announced a target of at least 100 MW of geothermal power generation capacity to be developed by 2025. With private developers engaged in exploration and some drilling being carried out, this is seen as possible.

“The government’s objective is to develop geothermal energy to complement hydropower and other energy sources to meet Uganda’s energy demand in a healthy environment,” Godfrey Bahati, of the Department of Geothermal Resources, recently told the Geological Survey and Mines Directorate at the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. The country has identified 24 geothermal sites in the regions of Kibiro, Panyimur, Buranga and Katwe; all in the east of the country.

These areas have already seen some surface explorations and several private developers are in line for development on specific sites. Gids Consult Ltd, has a geothermal license in Buranga and plans the development of up to 100 MW, with a development cost estimated at $42 million (which likely refers to a smaller scale initial development only).

Moto Geothermal Projekt Limited has secured a 28.1 km2 geothermal license in Ihimbo in Rukungiri District. The company plans to develop a 20 MW project having already secured support from Asigma Energy Fund, the energy wing of Asigma Capital, a Ugandan investment fund.

Bantu Energy Limited holds a geothermal licence in the Panyigoro area. The Ugandan subsidiary of the Canadian company Bantu Energy Inc. is already active in the country’s oil and gas sector.

Source: Afrik21