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Key issues in Uganda's energy sector

Uganda has abundant energy resources, especially renewable resources, yet there is widespread energy poverty throughout the country. The country’s energy sector faces considerable challenges including high costs for renewable energy technologies, rising international oil prices and an increased demand for power. The report explores key issues in each of the sub-sectors, the potential for renewable energies, and gives an overview of the legal and institutional frameworks for the sector.
Despite the achievements of the Ugandan government in reforming the energy industry since 1997, the sector needs significant investment. The government faces the challenge of expanding access to affordable, reliable and adequate energy supplies to address poverty issues. Energy supply is unequally distributed across the country and the provision of electricity has been limited to mainly urban and semi-urban areas.

The report recommends better monitoring and regulation of operations, improved regulation of access to natural resources by investors, and increased stakeholder involvement in the energy sector. It calls for the government to recognise the role that improved energy supply can play in poverty reduction by designing sustainable energy policies.

Find out more about our work on improving people's access to sustainable energy.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 16030IIED
  • Published: Feb 2012 - IIED
  • Area: Uganda
  • Theme: Energy
  • ISBN: 978-1-84369-831-9
  • Language: English

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Tumwesigye, R., Twebaze, P., Makuregye, N., Muyambe, E.,(2011) Key issues in Uganda’s energy sector, Pro-Biodiversity Conservationists in Uganda (PROBICOU) / International Institute for Environment and Development. London

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One in five people around the world – 1.3 billion people – lack electricity to light their homes or run their businesses, while wealthy countries consume vast amounts of electricity every day. IIED’s energy team works to promote access to sustainable energy for the poorest communities and a more equitable consumption of energy resources. Energy access is an area of great inequity. Access to sustainable modern energy services underpins health, education and livelihoods and increases resilience to climate change – yet millions of people have no access to electricity and use dangerous and unhealthy fuels for lighting and cooking.

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Improving people’s access to sustainable energy