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Learning lessons from previously tried and tested FiT programs; the Uganda scheme offers tariffs for a full suite of technologies, including geothermal, detailed hydro tariffs, as well as technology-specific program caps. The Uganda program also specifies capacity caps for each technology by year.
• Project size cap: <20MW
• Inflation adjustment based on O&M costs of tariff
• Administered by Uganda's Electric Regulatory Authority (ERA)
• Tariffs based on the cost of generation plus profit
• Hydro tariffs differentiated by size in 100kW increments
• Tariffs for eight different technologies, including geothermal
• Program capacity caps by technology and by year.
"Quietly, without fanfare, Uganda has announced one of the most sophisticated, if not the most sophisticated program in Africa," said renewable energy policy expert, Paul Gipe, of Wind-Works. "Uganda appears to have learned lessons from other programs worldwide. The Uganda program offers tariffs for a full suite of technologies, including geothermal and biogases, detailed hydro tariffs, as well as technology specific program caps."
Uganda is one of very few African nations to explore feed-in tariffs, including South Africa and Algeria. The development of the program shows that an interest in successful policies to encourage renewable energy generation is not limited to affluent, developed nations, as Uganda is an economically struggling nation with a per-capita GDP of US$1,240.
A mandate for feed-in tariffs was established by the nation's 2007 Renewable Energy Policy, and the first phase of the REFIT program ran from 2007 to 2009. According to the ERA, REFIT phase 1 was reviewed in 2010 due to limited uptake by project developers and a new tariff was developed based on updated levelized cost of production figures.
The REFIT program is limited to projects 20MW and smaller. The program includes an annual limit on the amount of solar PV that can participate, set at 2MW in 2011, 3MW in 2012, 5MW in 2013 and 7.5MW in 2014.