Uganda is located south of the Sahara in central-eastern Africa, the most southern part crossed by the equator line. Uganda’s area is 241,040 km2 and its population is around 40 million people. The climate is tropical and generally rainy with two dry seasons, from December to February and from June to August. In the north-east, Uganda is semi-arid. The average temperature is approximately 26°C (maximum temperature ranging between 18°C and 31°C and minimum temperature between 15°C and 23°C). The average annual precipitation in Uganda is between 1,000 and 1,500 mm, of which the majority is received between March and June with rainfall of more than 500 mm. The south is generally wetter than the north with the south-west receiving the heaviest rainfall. The north-east has the driest climate and is prone to droughts. Uganda lies almost completely within the Nile basin. The Nile River, which runs north-west between Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga, receives River Kafu and continues to Lake Albert. From here, it runs about 200 km to the border of South Sudan. Major lakes include Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga, Lake Edward and Lake Albert.

The electricity consumption in Uganda is one of the lowest in Africa, which is a direct result of the low electrification rate of only 26 %. This rate is even lower in rural regions (between 5 to 9 %). The demand for power in Uganda, actual total installed capacity of 920 MW, has grown in the last years at average rates of 10 % per year and the need for more electrification has found expression in the political goal of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) with a target of 100 per cent electrification rate by 2035. It needs to be considered however, that until 2020, the official aim is to achieve a rural electrification access of 22 %.

Combining this fact with hydropower and considering that Uganda has the highest SHP installed capacity in Eastern Africa, with 35 MW, the low electrification rate and the political aim show that more efforts need to be taken to increase the capacity. As it is known that a big part of the increase can come from SHP (see table 2.1 b). HYPOSO aims at improving framework conditions so that the potential can be best used. Else, Uganda originally issued renewable energy feed-in tariffs (REFIT) in 2007 but revised the scheme again in 2010 after limited investor participation. Currently, the second phase of the REFIT program (in which SHP was included) is ending and awaits renewal or a third phase. Of the projects that were enrolled with the REFIT program, some are operational, and others are in implementation stage. The REFIT program (in which SHP is eligible) is supplemented by the tariff top-up programme called the Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariff (GETFIT).

Still, challenges in the planning process exist, including high upfront costs and limited access to early-stage support and equity investment. Within HYPOSO, these challenges will be comprehensively investigated, and viable solutions elaborated. HYPOSO thus aims to support the political goals in Uganda while at the same time the population can benefit of better electrification and the European hydropower industry will be enabled to find the best partners via the HYPOSO network.