The German Government and the European Union (EU) launched the GET ACCESS Mini-grid Solar Programme, a 35 million Euro initiative to support the electrification of Uganda’s rural areas and contribute to the transition towards renewable energy.
GET ACCESS will provide first time access to modern, affordable and clean electricity to over 110,000 people, 800 public institutions (schools, health centres, other) and at least 700 businesses in remote rural areas.
GET ACCESS catalyses private funds into development, construction, operation and maintenance of 120+ solar powered mini-grids ensuring a 24h/7d reliable electricity service. The mini-grids installed will approximately add 5-6 megawatts of generation capacity to the country.
With a contribution of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) of 15 Million Euro and the EU contributing 10 Million Euro, the total project cost will be 35 Million Euro (Shs 136.2 Billion). Both the Government of Uganda and the private investors will contribute to cover the remaining 10 Million Euro. The funds will be managed by the German Development Bank (KfW).
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) will be responsible for the programme implementation in collaboration with the Ugandan Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA).
GET ACCESS will be implemented through a competitive tendering process whereby mini-grid developer companies, with demonstrable technical and financial capacities, offering the least cost energy are selected. To ensure necessary scale for financial leverage, operation and commercial sustainability, GET ACCESS supported mini-grids will be grouped in up to five clusters across Uganda. The village clusters of Palorinya–Maaji (West Nile refugee settlement), Kalangala and Wakiso (Central Uganda), Buvuma Island (East & West) and Lake Albert Shores have been confirmed for off-grid electrification through the programme.
The tender process shall begin in 2023 and the construction of the mini grids shall start by 2024. GET ACCESS will support selected private companies with a unique combination of upfront and results-based subsidies that will reimburse mini-grid developers for significant portions of capital expenditures and costs to stimulate the productive use of energy (PUE).
GET ACCESS builds on previous pilot projects supporting deployment of off-grid technologies and on the recently gazetted Isolated Grid System regulatory framework and its associated guidelines.
GET ACCESS will contribute to national socio-economic development by stimulating economic activities in the cluster areas by promoting current businesses and future business ventures. Moreover, GET ACCESS will also create a market for private sector driven & financed mini-grid electrification as a viable & ready alternative to publicly financed grid electrification in remote locations.
GET ACCES is a Team Europe Initiative contributing to fostering Private Public Partnerships in Uganda in pursuit of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.