Baguma’s push to achieve renewable energy 

Mr Roy Nyamutale Baguma

What you need to know:

  • Baguma was April 1 appointed as the new managing director of Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company 

When Roy Nyamutale Baguma discusses sustainable energy solutions, it's evident that his enthusiasm is profound. With a distinguished career in development finance spanning 28 years, Baguma possesses the insight, passion, and leadership necessary to seamlessly transition into the needs for the establishment of Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company (UECCC).

“After having served for 15 years propelling rich entrepreneurs to access big loans and gain more profit, I wanted to join a development finance aspect that would be able to assist in eradicating poverty, and also assist in climate change mitigation and adaptation measures,” says Baguma.

“So that is what attracted me to UECCC. I served as the manager of transaction execution and was subsequently promoted to director of transaction execution. I served in that position for 13 years, and after that, the board appointed me managing director of Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company with effect from April 1,” he says. 

Baguma’s appointment came at a time when electrification in rural areas is low, with 95 percent using solid biomass fuels for cooking. 

Government has been pushing to increase the usage of clean energy among Ugandans. Photo / Courtesy 

With the Energy Transition plan by the Ministry of Energy now in place, Uganda hopes to expand low-emissions electricity across the country to deliver universal energy access by 2030. 

Key to the realisation of the Energy Transition Plan is UECCC, among other government agencies in the energy sector.

“UECCC is in place to catalsze financing towards renewable energy development and access programmes. So, we are an enabler, a facilitator, catalyst, and we partner with financial institutions and energy service companies to address challenges of key parties that can bring in financing for clean and modern energy services. So, we are here to address challenges that financial institutions have in extending financing to households and enterprises to access clean energy solutions for access to electricity, clean cooking and productive uses of energy for income generation,” Baguma says.  

Currently, UECCC is also involved in developing nine mini-hydroelectric power stations (Orio Mini Hydro Power Project) within the framework of the Uganda Energy Capitalisation Trust. 

UECCC accessed a grant of up to 13.1m Euros from the Netherlands to implement the project across seven districts of Hoima, Kabarole, Bundibugyo, Bunyangabu, Kasese, Mitooma, and Bushenyi to deliver a 288-kilometre distribution network and 71,081 last-mile connections.

“These nine sites were carefully selected. They are not attractive to the private sector. Their generation capacities are low, but they are very important for those areas with challenging topography and deliver a stable and reliable source of power for rural electrification, which mitigates the challenges of wheeling power over long distances,” Baguma says.  

Beyond the Orio-Mini Hydro Power Project, UECCC's collaboration with more than 21 financial institutions has facilitated up to 14,000 loans and energy connections, benefiting households, commercial enterprises, and institutions, resulting into more 1.4 million Ugandans accessing electricity, especially in the in the rural and underserved areas.

Furthermore, UECCC is at the forefront of the Electricity Scale-Up Project supported by the World Bank, which is a comprehensive effort to increase electricity access across Uganda, targeting households, commercial enterprises, industrial parks, and public institutions. 

Baguma says their role within this project involves providing end-user-demand side financing and supply side financing for energy service companies dealing in solar systems for lighting and charging, clean cooking solutions powered by solar, ethanol, briquettes, liquified petroleum gas, biogas and productive use of energy equipment such as water pumping, irrigation, refrigeration and cooling, water heating, and grain milling.

“In 2017, the Electricity Connection Policy came into place. Government promoted it to ensure that every household accesses a single pole and no pole service. And these are the connections that are going to be given under the on-grid component of the Electricity Access scale-up project being implemented by the Ministry of Energy,” he says, and further notes that UECCC’s work includes innovating financing solutions and technical assistance programmes that facilitate players in the energy sector to promote and deliver clean energy technologies to the public.

“If the financial institutions have challenges in understanding renewable energy project applications, we are there to provide technical assistance so that they can understand it better,” Baguma says, adding: “UECCC also administers the Uganda Energy Capitalisation Trust, which is a framework for pooling resources from development partners and government and to channel the same towards Renewable Energy Development and increased access to clean and modern energy services.”

The Company is mandated to facilitate private sector participation in the financing of renewable energy development through the provision of financial and technical support that addresses barriers inhibiting effective private sector participation.

UECCC was recently awarded as the best ‘Government Renewable Energy Agency of the Year’ during the 10th Visionaries of Uganda Award Ceremony. It was established to provide financing options to facilitate investment in renewable energy projects and access to clean and modern energy services. 

The key implementing partners are financial institutions, Saccos regulated by Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority and Energy Service Companies.