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Development of a geothermal direct use project in Uganda

Context

Uganda is developing a Geothermal Policy and Legislation as a tool to utilize renewable sources of energy and address climate change challenges. The first Geothermal Policy and Legislation draft was produced with support from CTCN in 2016. The draft has since been reviewed to produce a final version which has been validated and is awaiting a Regulatory Impact Assessment report before it is submitted to Cabinet for approval. Once approved, the Parliament of Uganda will proceed to draft the Geothermal Act. Meanwhile, the results of the current geothermal studies suggest that Uganda's geothermal systems are medium to low temperature areas. The resource, therefore, can be used for both electricity production using binary systems and direct uses of geothermal heat in industry and agriculture.

CTCN Support

  • Analysis of potential direct use or combined heat and power opportunities given economic development plans in the locality;
  • Review of the existing direct uses for geothermal energy;
  • Support in consultations with the local community regarding the possible opportunities for direct utilisation of the geothermal energy;
  • Evaluation of the potential for geothermal energy production, and the likely market for electricity and direct heat both locally and nationally;
  • Development of business and financial models for the prospects;
  •  Infrastructural assessment for direct use facilities for crop and fish drying and other uses to be determined by the study;
  • Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for utilizing surface or subsurface water;
  • Capacity building to the staff of the Ministry and local communities;
  • Bankable feasibility studies both engineering, potential markets (marketability) and economic (value, income);
  • Conduct information awareness workshops to promote the geothermal industry.

Expected Impact

Direct utilization of geothermal resources is one-way countries can meet their greenhouse gases reduction quotas since it will displace the use of biomass and fossil fuels. It will also improve the livelihoods of communities living close to the geothermal resources.

Direct use of geothermal energy in homes and commercial operations is much less expensive than using traditional fuels (firewood); savings can be as much as 80%. This assistance also contributes to improved indoor air quality and safety, job and economy boost, locally produced energy, carbon emission reduction, flexible heating systems, as well as reliable and sustainable heat source: geothermal heating projects last for decades, typically 25 years or more, providing reliable energy at a low, stable price.