October 26, 2013

Clean Energy for Uganda: Decision of the GET FiT Investment Committee

Eight Projects will be supported – A second round of applications will start in November


The first request for proposals (RfP), during which developers of small hydro, bagasse co-generation and biomass projects in Uganda could apply for support from the GET FiT Premium Payment Mechanism, drew great interest from project developers. In July and September 2013, the independent investment committee selected 8 of 15 projects that formally requested support. US $ 57 million GET FiT premium payments will be paid out in support of these 8 projects (Small Hydro Power and Bagasse), facilitating about US $ 180 million in private investments. The projects will add 85 MW in renewable energy to the Ugandan power grid. The first projects are expected to reach financial completion at the beginning of 2014.

Bhatiya Ranatunga, CEO of the Eco Power Group of Companies, whose project Rwimi (5.5 MW, Fort Portal Region) was one of the 8 projects selected by the GET FiT Investment Committee, describes the positive force of the GET FiT program: "Certain weaknesses in the policy framework governing the renewable energy sector in Uganda had become a road block for faster realization of vast renewable energy potential in Uganda. The timely intervention of Deutsche Bank and KfW with the GETFiT mechanism addresses almost all the impediments for sector growth.

The superb coordination spearheaded by KfW and GET FiT among relevant government agencies, the international donor community, the developers and the lenders has resulted in paving the way for a landmark institutional framework that will lead to faster and sustainable development of the Ugandan power sector. We, Eco Power Group, as a developer, are ever grateful to GET FiT for addressing barriers we were facing in undertaking small hydropower projects in Uganda. We congratulate GET FiT on the success achieved so far and wish for a smooth implementation of the program."

The success of the first round already prompted the government of Uganda (GoU) to increase the REFiT for Hydro Power by 0.6 US ct/kWh. Furthermore, the GoU is encouraged to start a second round of RfP at the beginning of November 2013. Small scale (1 - 20 MW) renewable energy generation projects can apply for GET FiT Premium Payment support. The decisions of the investment committee are expected in March 2014.

The development partners involved with the GET FiT initiative are very satisfied with the progress made so far. In addition to the UK Department of Energy & Climate (DECC), one of the financiers of the GET FiT Premium Payment Mechanism, other development partners supporting the Get FiT include the UK Department for International Development (DfID), Norway, Germany and the European Union.

“The GET FiT program has resul­ted in pav­ing the way for a land­mark ins­titutio­nal frame­work that will lead to faster and sus­tain­able develop­ment of the Ugandan power sector.”

Eng. Bhatiya Ranatunga CEO, Eco Power Group of Companies

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