A Geothermal Development Guide for Uganda

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE)
Saturday, January 1, 2005

Executive Summary

Despite the enormous geothermal potential in Uganda, harnessing of this resource potential has for some been an issue of contention in the country. The major reasons that have hindered the development of the resource have mainly been the cost of geothermal development in relation to the cost of large hydropower, the lack of political will on the side of government and to some extent the environmental concerns related to the development of resource. Government of Uganda has for some time expressed interest of developing this resource potential although, for several decades this commitment has failed to be translated into a reality. Recent developments in the sector indicate that the will of government to develop the resource is gaining some impetus; that is likely to see the resource being developed.

Currently, detailed studies are being done on three identified sites that have a high generation potential. Development of this resource is a welcome undertaking and raises the hope for the possibility of the country attaining energy security. The prevailing energy poverty today in many rural parts of the country has greatly affected the economic growth of the country as well as the socio economic development of her rural based populations who are embroiled in energy poverty.

Inadequacies in energy supply have had a great impact on rural communities who are trapped in subsistence–level economies which are characterized by inefficient use of non–commercial energy, low agricultural productivity and poor standards of living. The new approach by government that considers the development decentralized options and technologies is likely to help in promoting energy for rural and agricultural development. Uganda’s energy problems and the growing need to meet the people’s basic needs by improving production and income in the agricultural and non–agricultural economic sector can best be achieved through an approach that considers a mixture of both conventional and renewable energy sources.

This guide therefore has been developed as a proactive approach towards the sustainable development of the country’s geothermal potential. Development of this guide has been achieved through a consultative process with stakeholders in the civil society organizations in Uganda.

Download the full report.