Renewable energy and energy efficiency

Project description

Title: Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme (PREEEP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Uganda
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD)
Overall term: 2017 to 2019



Uganda is richly endowed with natural resources. In terms of energy, the country has abundant biomass, including large quantities of non-woody biomass, as well as peat and water resources. It also enjoys ideal solar, geothermal and wind energy potential. Of these resources, water and biomass make the biggest contributions to the energy demands of Uganda’s population. The inconsistent use of the available resources has, however, left the country with an inadequate supply of energy. This situation is aggravated by often inefficient use of energy. As a result, the country has one of the lowest rates of consumption of modern (clean) energy in the world.


The underlying conditions necessary for access to renewable energy and efficient energy consumption in industries and households have improved.


GIZ is implementing this programme on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. Financing is also provided by BMZ’s German Climate Technology Fund (DKTI), the Dutch-German-Norwegian-British-Swedish-Swiss partnership Energising Development (EnDev), the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

The programme works with the Ministry of Energy and supports strategies to increase access to renewable energy while enhancing energy efficiency. This entails capacity building for policy improvement, budget planning, improvement of market structures and the mainstreaming of energy at district level. The programme is also involved in crosscutting issues, such as mainstreaming the topics of gender and HIV/AIDS in its energy activities.

With funding from DKTI, the programme is promoting the use of mini-grids for rural electrification to encourage development in rural areas of Uganda. The ‘Pro Mini-Grids’ project supports the Government of Uganda in planning electricity services and monitoring their profitability, while also raising the capacity of the private sector to respond to demand. To this end, it is supporting the Rural Electrification Agency in developing an off-grid/mini-grid electrification strategy. It is also supporting the selection process for mini-grid operators in about 25 villages in Lamwo District, northern Uganda, by developing a transparent tender mechanism. A training programme for mini-grid operation has also been introduced.

Working with EnDev, the programme is increasing access to innovative energy technologies in rural areas. This involves the provision of improved cooking stoves to as many as 550,000 people, and electricity connections to power lighting and domestic appliances for nearly 160,000 people. Modern energy services have also been established for 1,100 social institutions and 1,600 small and medium-sized enterprises.

The programme is also implementing a climate change project on behalf of BMUB, promoting the growth of carbon markets in Uganda and the East African region.. It cooperates with national institutions to develop innovative and effective mitigation strategies, provides advice and training on current carbon market approaches to policy makers, and works with private sector organisations, supporting their efforts to identify and develop green projects.


Energy management has been integrated into the planning and budgets of local governments in 17 pilot districts in the Lango and West Nile regions. This has enhanced the delivery of energy services in key sectors such as health, education and the environment, at district level. In its ongoing efforts to establish a quality management system for the Ministry of Energy, the programme has introduced a number of elements such as planning calendars, work plans and project report templates specially formulated for the ministry’s use. These tools serve to standardise processes and synchronise planning activities between the district governments and the ministry.

Over 50 professional auditors, who acquired skills for industrial energy auditing and management, have already conducted energy surveys and audits in more than 200 SMEs and schools. The programme has also provided capacity building for dealers in renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. This underpinned the formation of five business associations in the energy sector, with over 400 members involved in the fields of biomass, biogas, solar energy and energy efficiency. These associations now offer their own lobbying and training services.

By the end of 2016, more than 465,000 people had benefited from EnDev’s efforts to promote the widespread use of improved household cooking stoves. EnDev Uganda’s activities are aimed at both urban households and low-income rural households. The production of the improved stoves has helped to create more than 900 new jobs. Roughly one third of the producers, who work either as employees or as independent rural artisans, are women. Compared to 2015, access to domestic electricity-related services rose by 76 per cent in 2016, to over 110,000 people. This is thanks to the greater engagement of EnDev Uganda’s partners who distribute solar lanterns and solar home systems. EnDev Uganda has also improved access to modern energy services for SMEs and social institutions like schools, health centres and places of worship. By the end of 2016, nearly 1,200 SMEs and 650 social institutions had gained access to such services.

On behalf of BMUB, the programme has encouraged private sector involvement. Eight biomass projects have already entered the carbon market, while more than 50 enterprises and private sector associations have received information about joining it. These have also been linked to government-led national mitigation initiatives. Supported by GIZ, the secretariat of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Climate Change keeps parliamentarians informed about current trends and developments in national and international climate politics. The programme has also informed regulatory bodies and ministry representatives from five different countries about opportunities and future scenarios in the carbon market. They now use carbon market instruments for measuring the impact of their national mitigation initiatives.


With support from the German Climate Technology Fund, and working with the Rural Electrification Agency, the programme has developed a tendering mechanism for private sector involvement in mini-grid schemes. This is intended to ensure the transparency and efficiency of the tender process. To encourage private sector actors to get involved, the tender framework includes simplified licensing procedures, a subsidy scheme and long-term concessions. A comprehensive training programme for solar electricians has also been developed in cooperation with Nakawa Vocational Training Institute and the Handwerkskammer (chamber of trades) in Cologne.

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