Swedfund, the Swedish Government’s development financier that contributes to economic and environmental development through sustainable investments, has offered a US$ 698,070 grant to finance analytical studies for floating solar power in Uganda.
The funds were handed over by H.E Maria Håkansson, Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, to Dr. Eng. Harrison E. Mutikanga, the CEO of the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) barely two months after the state-owned power utility published a tender document seeking consultants to assess the East African country‘s potential to deploy floating PV power plants.
Reportedly, the 21-month study starting next year will see if it is possible to use floating solar panels on either of the reservoirs at the hydropower plants of Nalubaale and Kiira, Bujagali, Isimba, or Karuma.
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Potential of floating solar power in Uganda
The Republic of Uganda has a strong potential to combine floating PV with hydropower, as it relies almost entirely on hydroelectric power dams for its power supplies.
The water resources in the East African state include large lakes such as Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga, Lake Albert, Lake George, and Lake Edward. The country also has wetlands and rivers, including the Nile River, Katonga, Semliki, and Malaba among others.
The Sub-Saharan country also has a very strong potential for solar, according to a report recently published in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications. It reportedly has good radiation, with seven hours per day on flat surfaces.
However, according to statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the country regardless of having so much solar potential it only had 82 MW of installed solar power by the end of December 2020.