Earnings from electricity exports increase by 46% 

Uganda exports much of its electricity to Kenya and partly to Tanzania, eastern DR Congo and South Sudan. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Data from Bank of Uganda indicates that between February 2021 and January 2022, earnings from electricity exports increased to $38.46m (Shs138b) compared to $20.69m (Shs74b) earned in the same period ended January 2021.

Uganda earned $38.46m (Shs138b) from electricity exports in the year ended January 2022, according to details from Bank of Uganda.

This was a 46 percent increase from $20.69m (Shs74b) which was earned in the same period ended January 2021.

Data from Bank of Uganda indicates that between February 2021 and January 2022, earnings from electricity exports increased to $38.46m (Shs138b) compared to $20.69m (Shs74b) earned in the same period ended January 2021.

Uganda exports much of its electricity to Kenya and partly to Tanzania, eastern DR Congo and South Sudan.

During the period under review, Uganda exported 411,589 megawatts hour (MWh), which was 44 percent higher than the 228,884 MWh that was exported in the same period last year. 

Electricity exports have been growing, peaking at 41,113 MWh in January . 

Dr Patricia Litho, the Ministry of Energy head of communications, yesterday said there has been noticeable increase in demand for electricity, especially from regional neighbours, among which include Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan. 

“Electricity usage depends on demand, so as countries industrialise more, sometimes the demand goes up because of load centres,” she said, noting that demand for Uganda’s electricity in South Sudan has particularly been growing over time. 

Uganda produces more electricity than demanded thus creating a widow for government to explore the export market. 

However, in his annual report, Auditor General John Muwanga, indicated that during the period ended June 30, government spent  Shs87b on unused power annually due to failure to evacuate generated electricity, which is unsustainable in the long term. 

Unused electricity also known as deemed energy is electricity that is available for dispatch by an independent power producer, but due to non-existent or a weak grid infrastructure and or insufficient demand, the power is not evacuated.

The continued payment of significant amounts of money by Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited relating to deemed energy, Mr Muwanga noted demonstrates a market risk, which is effectively transferred from investors to government. 

Uganda’s current electricity generation capacity stands at about 1,250MW and, according to Ministry of Energy, it is expected to grow above 2,000MW by end of 2022. 

This will be achieved with the additional electricity from Karuma (600MW), Kikagati (16MW), Nyamagasani I (15MW), plus capacity from other small hydro power plants across the country.

Therefore, the amount of unused power is expected to increase due to low growth in demand. 

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