In a groundbreaking development at the UN Climate Change COP28 summit in Dubai, Uganda has solidified its commitment to sustainable energy by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Masdar, a United Arab Emirates Government company. The MoU outlines the establishment of a 150MW solar power plant in Bulambuli district, Eastern Uganda, marking a significant stride towards the broader collaboration to construct a 1000MW solar energy plant.
The signing ceremony was attended by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, who emphasized the transformative impact of the solar power plant on electricity accessibility and socio-economic development in Uganda.
The Energy and Mineral Development Minister, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, signed the MoU on behalf of the Ugandan government, while Masdar CEO Mohammed Jamal Al Ramahi witnessed the historic agreement.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the construction of the solar power plant would not only meet the escalating electricity demand but also create employment opportunities for Ugandans. This move aligns with Uganda’s broader strategy to capitalize on abundant renewable energy resources for sustainable industrialization.
Masdar, committed to funding the crucial grid stability studies, aims to bring technically proficient independent companies by April 2024 to ensure seamless integration without harming the existing grid. Abdulla Zayed, Masdar’s Head of Development Investment (Africa), stated that these studies, beneficial for other electricity projects in Uganda, reflect Masdar’s dedication to technical excellence.
Building on a previous MoU signed in August 2022, the collaboration between the Ugandan government and Masdar encompasses the development of greenfield renewable energy projects totaling 1GW. The newly announced 150MW solar project is set to be established in the Kween district, with plans to construct a power transmission line from Mbale to Bulambuli, connecting to the national grid.
Uganda, in its pursuit of 100% renewable energy by 2050, faces a significant financial requirement of over $390 billion, as highlighted by a recent study by the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
There is need for diversified energy sources, with 90% of the target relying on solar energy.
This development comes at a critical time, with the international community focusing on renewable energy initiatives.
The commitment from Masdar and the Ugandan government not only contributes to global climate action but also positions Uganda as a key player in the transition to sustainable and clean energy.