Geothermal technology has the potential to provide affordable, efficient, low-emission, large scale, renewable power to Uganda. However, there is a lack of a clear and coherent geothermal policy, legal, regulatory and institutional framework to promote and facilitate geothermal energy production in Uganda.
Based on favourable geographical and geological conditions, the Government of Uganda has been pursuing a strategy for geothermal energy for a number of years. In 2014, a key step forward was achieved with the restructuring of the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development and the establishment of the Geothermal Resources Department within the Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines.
Reinforcing the Department’s capacity will be vital in creating an enabling environment for geothermal energy production – in part this can be achieved by more clearly identifying its role in terms of its mission, policy and legal mandate, structure and competencies to support technical awareness and investments in geothermal energy production:
- Review and critically examine experiences in geothermal energy development globally and to establish key lessons for policy, legal and regulatory development in Uganda;
- Consult widely with across government, industry, donors, financiers and local communities to identify their needs and concerns regarding geothermal energy development in Uganda;
- Formulation of a policy, laws and institutional framework that enables sound governance of the geothermal energy production while attracting private sector investments.
As a response to this vital demand, the CTCN Technical Assistance is supporting the development of a Geothermal Energy Policy for Uganda, as well as a geothermal energy law and required institutional structure. Establishing such an enabling environment through a revised and improved policy and regulatory framework will strengthen Uganda’s position to attract investors for large scale investment in geothermal technologies and thereby contribute to the country’s continued economic development for years to come.