GET FiT to attract private investors

Uganda could attract more private investment into its energy industry as a result of the partnership between the Electricity Regulatory Authority [ERA] and Global Energy Transfer for Feed-in-Tariff [GET FiT], the chief executive officer of ERA, Dr Benon Mutambi, has said.
Mutambi said GET FiT’s inclusion of solar energy into the energy mix would increase the country’s electricity production capacity and widen access to power, which at less than 15 per cent of the country’s 35 million people, is one of the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This programme is expected to leverage approximately $375m in private finance of renewable energy generation projects. Overall, GET FiT will attract more than $450m of private investment into Uganda, thereby reducing transmission losses and stabilizing the grid,” Mutambi is quoted in a statement.
He continued: “By introducing a new technology to the generation mix, Uganda’s dependency on hydropower is reduced, making the country’s electricity supply more resilient to climate change.”
The statement was issued during the ERA-GET FiT solar facility award function held at Protea hotel in Kampala recently.
Speaking on behalf of the development partners, the European Union head of delegation, Ambassador Kristian Schmidt, said: “The programme is a prototype between government and development partners on one hand and a strong commitment from the government to get sector policy and regulation right, and attract private investment.” Schmidt said.  The European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund through KFW and the German Development bank are providing the funding for the GET FiT solar facility.
The projects proposed by the Uganda-Italian consortium - Simba Telecom Ltd/Building Energy SPA and the consortium of Access Uganda solar/TSK Electronica were selected by ERA and the GET FiT Investment committee to benefit from the GET FiT solar facility after a competitive bidding process that was initiated in January 2014.
According to the press statement, determining the appropriate tariff for solar PV in East Africa is challenging due to the lack of reference projects. In 2003, the Electricity Regulatory Authority approached KFW with a proposal to explore the possibilities of supporting solar PV development in the country.
With the country facing a shortage of electricity supply, solar power is seen as a reliable option, on top of being part of clean renewable energy.


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