REC24 Topics

REC24 & EXPO Presented by

  1. Heads of Mission Session
  2. Heads of development Partner Agency Session
  1. Enhancing clean energy markets and access through carbon financing
    Access to clean energy remains one of the biggest challenges to Uganda’s energy transition. Majority of Ugandans still use traditional biomass for cooking and assert that clean cooking technologies are beyond their affordability scale. Carbon finance is an important source of funding for clean cooking companies in recent years, and it is expected continue with the growth of voluntary markets, national carbon markets and credits sales related to the Paris Agreement Article 6. This session will constitute of panelists from the climate finance unit, climate change department, UNFCCC and renewable energy department to discuss clean energy markets and access through carbon financing in Uganda to drive actions to improve the integrity of carbon credits, transparency of information, fairness in revenue sharing throughout the value chain and long-term sustainability of local clean energy markets, including enabling greater participation of clean cooking companies in carbon markets.
  1. Result based financing: Experiences and lessons for Uganda
    To incentivize the provision of energy services, create, expand market, or stimulate innovation, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and her partners have been promoting Result based financing (RBF) incentives, a form of payment by Results approach. RBF have been tagged to new electricity connections, clean cooking and productive use of energy services. Across the country, the share of funding disbursed upfront and on delivery has varied based on context, design of verification actors and perceived or real risk appropriate. Given such variations in the implementation, the RBF market approach have recorded varying results and lessons. This session, therefore, will share experiences and lessons on RBF incentives in Uganda and ways of addressing encountered bottlenecks in the market.
  1. Subsidies: A private sector experience
    The use of subsidies by development finance institutions (DFIs) can often be controversial because of their ability to distort markets. It is vital to ensure that the subsidy is used efficiently, the level of subsidy is appropriate (provides value for money) and market distortion is minimized. It is instructive therefore to examine the practical approaches/frameworks that there are for effectively delivering subsidy to private sector entities for development purposes. This session will constitute of private sector actors discussing subsidies and their impacts on their businesses as well as their preferences in designing subsidies by DFIs.
  1. Financial institutions and private sector discourse on financing gaps
    Coming up with one magic bullet that pulls in the most patient capital of energy developers and investors may not be possible.  First, not all energy developers and investors are created equal.  Pension funds, insurance companies, reinsurers, state development banks, insurance funds and sovereign wealth funds all have different mandates and different return expectations for their investments.  Their governance structures and their investment cultures vary as does the applicability of financial regulations.  Even within the smaller universe of pension and super-annuation funds, we see stark differences among them—from risk appetite and portfolio diversification targets, to the in-house (or not) ability to do risk assessments of individual investments. Despite the increasing appeal of green finance as a concept, the delivery of an empirical evidence base that illustrates the effectiveness of projects aligned with climate action and sustainable development—both in terms of measurable performance and value for money—has been less forthcoming. Concurrently, there have been numerous claims of the potential of ‘unlocking’ the trillions of dollars of private finance that is available for investment. This session will have the financial institutions and private sector representatives interfacing to discuss ways of addressing the existing financing gaps in the energy sector.
  1. Energy business models: What works and what doesn’t
    Access to clean energy produces greater levels of economic value and increases the quality of life in emerging markets across the globe. Emerging economies have surpassed developed nations in clean energy investment and deployment, but there is limited understanding of the factors that most affect the success of these businesses. The goal of this session is to identify these success factors, and use them to inform entrepreneurs’ strategic decision-making as well as elucidate the environments in which these ventures have a higher probability of success. By better understanding what drives success in the renewable energy industry, both entrepreneurs and key stakeholders such as policy makers, investors, and interested non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can better prioritize their efforts and investments to drive increased levels of clean energy adoption. The session will bring together distinguished investors, policy makers and partners to discuss the business models commonly adopted in Uganda.
  1. Nature and energy finance for climate action
    Humanity is at a crossroads – a moment of great risk and great opportunity. One path leads to attractive growth and development; the other to great difficulties and destruction. As shown by each successive report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, climate change is occurring at a faster pace than previously anticipated, the impacts and damage are greater than foreseen, and the time for remedial action is rapidly narrowing. To achieve universal energy access while conserving and mitigating climate shock, necessitates significant financing, especially in the developing countries that are most vulnerable to climate shocks. This session will bring together public and private actors, as well as conventional and innovative financiers to spotlight key efforts to mobilize finance at scale for energy and nature.
  1. Financing women and youth energy entrepreneurs and innovators
    Women and youth continue to be underrepresented as entrepreneurs in the Energy Community Contracting Parties, particularly across energy economies. They are disproportionately affected by major challenges of entering entrepreneurship. Closing these gaps can significantly increase the region’s growth prospects, as research around the world has shown. As we stand on the cusp of the energy transition, there is a vast potential to create new entrepreneurial opportunities. Thus, it is imperative to address existing challenges now. From structural barriers to financial constraints, technical complexities, and beyond, this session will underscore the urgent need to cultivate an enabling environment that empowers women and youth entrepreneurs to lead in this dynamic industry.
  1. A spotlight on the Electricity Access Scale-up Project
    The EASP was developed with the objective of increasing access to energy for households, commercial enterprises and public institutions. Financial Intermediation component of the project provides credit support instruments for end user financing, working capital facilities, result based grants, capacity building, electrification of public schools and hospitals, productive use of energy, among others. This session will constitute a panel of key actors in the EASP to share progress, testimonies and forthcoming intervention of the project.
  1. Delivering clean energy in hard-to-reach communities
    Currently, nearly 800 million people live without electricity worldwide, most of them in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, where most of the poor also live. One of the factors contributing to this energy inequity is the dependency on outdated approaches to electrification. There is a bias toward traditional centralized power grids, which are not only costly, particularly for remote rural and peri-urban communities, but also provide intermittent and unreliable service where available. Bringing clean energy to those without electricity today is one of the most powerful things to do for both adaptation and long-term mitigation. One of the solutions to accelerating the end of these energy inequities has been through Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) solutions such as solar, which can help countries expand access to on-site clean, sufficient, affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy. This session will discuss and share experiences, lessons and opportunities of delivering clean energy to hard-to-reach communities in Uganda.
  1. Productive use of energy: Unlocking electricity demand and economic transformation
    Productive uses of energy (PUE) can transform rural livelihoods and decarbonize agricultural value chains through the use of sustainable energy. PUE stimulates household energy consumption and income generation. Emphasizing productive use energy activities as the primary method of stimulating electricity demand in the community would combat deemed energy in the power sector. However, PUE entrepreneurs need access to investment capital and subsidies and other incentives to scale operations and serve low-income and last-mile consumers, supported by policy and regulatory frameworks that guarantee a level playing field. This session will discuss how energy entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers can enhance collaboration to grow this promising and socio-economic transformative ecosystem.
  1. Green hydrogen production and its economic impacts for East Africa
    Green hydrogen has potential applications across several important sectors in East Africa, including industry, transport, and power. Green hydrogen is a versatile feedstock in the chemical industry, specifically for the production of ammonia (used in nitrogen fertilizers) and methanol. Additionally, hydrogen can play a role in decarbonizing the road transport sector, and its derivatives can decarbonize shipping (via ammonia or methanol) and aviation (via sustainable aviation fuels (SAF)). Furthermore, hydrogen offers a means of energy storage and can provide baseload power in the electricity sector. However, to accelerate the establishment of a green hydrogen industry in the region, it is crucial to prioritize those specific applications of hydrogen that not only yield significant advantages for the region but also align with its overarching developmental objectives and broader development goals. Concurrently, these applications should demonstrate the highest potential for short-term commercial viability. This session will attract key actor in the green hydrogen value chain to discuss the potential socio-economic impacts of green hydrogen production in the East African region.
  1. Achieving universal access through Off-grid systems
    With remote and rural areas lagging behind and progressing slowly in energy access, the world is currently not on-track to achieve universal energy access by 2030. While grid expansion has been essential to shrinking the electricity access gap to less than 700 million people by 2023, the remaining unconnected are increasingly difficult to reach as they are predominantly rural, remote, poor, and living in contexts suffering from fragility, conflict, or violence (FCV). For communities in rural Africa to thrive, energy services must be affordable and reliable. But this is not enough, energy services must be built around productive uses of energy (PUE) from the start. PUE activities are crucial to boosting demand for off-grid energy systems, while generating valuable income for remote communities and ultimately reducing poverty. Off-grid renewable energy solutions – including stand-alone systems and mini-grids – will play a crucial role in achieving universal access to modern energy in a timely and sustainable manner. To accelerate the pace of off-grid renewable energy deployment, many different pre-conditions must be met. This session will constitute of a panel of experts in off-grid systems discussing opportunities and experiences of electrifying rural communities.
  2. Unlocking Uganda’s wind energy potential
    The potential of wind energy, in particular, holds significant promise in addressing the escalating energy needs of Uganda. Harnessing the power of the wind presents a viable and sustainable alternative to conventional energy sources, offering a pathway towards energy security and independence. Moreover, wind energy aligns harmoniously with the global imperative to mitigate climate change and reduce carbon emissions, making it a compelling choice for nations striving to balance economic development with environmental preservation. Recognizing the pivotal role that wind energy can play in shaping the future of the Uganda energy sector, stakeholders are increasingly embracing initiatives aimed at its promotion and adoption. This session seeks to address the multifaceted challenges and opportunities inherent in the transition towards renewable energy in Uganda, with a specific focus on wind energy. The session will bring together policymakers, industry experts, academics, and other relevant stakeholders with the aim of fostering dialogue, share best practices, and catalyze actionable strategies that will accelerate the deployment of wind energy infrastructure in Uganda and the region at large.

  3. Accelerating energy access and climate action
    Climate change is taking an undue toll on energy resources and services, and that managing energy security is central to climate adaptation and mitigation solutions. Developing countries are committed to improving access to energy for their people, while contributing to the global fight against climate change. But they need finance and technical assistance to help them achieve their goals. Addressing the energy access deficit through sustainable and affordable energy technologies is therefore critical for building socio-economic and climate resilience, avoiding future emissions and delivering on countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). While Africa is set to emerge as a key driver of energy demand growth, the extent to which the region can address its energy needs and drive socio-economic and environmental sustainability will depend on how effectively countries utilise their vast energy resources (both renewable and non-renewable). This session will put a spotlight on building resilient energy systems as a critical lever for climate action. This session will convene climate change and energy planners to deliberate on experiences and lessons learnt as well as solutions for addressing bottlenecks hindering energy access and climate action.
  1. Regional integration of energy infrastructure: A case of East African Community
    EAC has achieved a significant milestone in village and household electrification. However, grid reliability creates many health and pollution challenges for local communities, and impacts millions of electricity-dependent commercial and institutional customers. Achieving energy security for many developing countries will depend on crafting a regional energy strategy to buttress national ones. Instead of incurring high capital costs to build additional power generating capacity, some countries could find cross-border transmission lines a more prudent option to access electricity from big regional power plants that benefit from economies of scale to generate power at a lower cost than smaller, national ones. Regional energy integration requires regional economic cooperation. Cooperation can begin with regional energy assessments and sharing of best practices. Standardizing design can reduce unit costs, permit faster implementation, and lower the costs of spare parts, maintenance, and staff training. This session will explore improvements in grid reliability through regional grid integration to bolster the on- and off-grid sectors, and ultimately help achieve EAC’s modern energy access and transition goals, at a regional scale. This session will attract representative of the EAC States to discuss integration possibility, its pros and cons as well as regulatory framework for its achievement.
  1. Watering the Clean Energy Transition
    The need to value water has never been greater. Water scarcity currently affects almost one billion people living in urban areas. Increased demand, coupled with depleted supplies, could mean this figure will double by 2050. And as water is highly location-specific, the impact will be greater in certain hotspots. Water plays an important role in the global energy transition required to achieve the 1.5-degree temperature goal. Wind and solar farms are less water-intensive than fossil fuels, but the world is relying on these technologies to massively expand over the coming decades. Also, green hydrogen is a new and vaunted clean energy source but with much greater water impacts. The growth in clean energy needs to be carefully managed if we are to avoid unsustainable pressures on local water sources. This session will highlight how clean energy policies and planning can consider water availability to reduce water and energy risks as well as promote synergistic solutions, with a focus on national climate planning. As part of the session, the Water-Energy-Climate synergies and agrivoltaics will be discussed and a call to action on water, energy, and climate by the discussers for actors willing to work together on these issues will be taken.
  1. Prioritizing e-waste management in the face of energy transition
    The growing emphasis on sustainable energy development, the production of electronic components, devices, and renewable energy technologies needed to produce sustainable energy has also increased. While these advancements offer numerous benefits for economic growth and environmental protection, they also pose a significant challenge in terms of electronic waste (e-waste) generation. These e-waste items often contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants. When not appropriately managed, e-waste can lead to environmental contamination and health hazards for nearby communities. Thus, effective e-waste management and recycling would be a game changer to ensure sustainability in line with Global Development Initiatives (GDI) goals. Governments are implementing Extended Producer Responsibility (ERP) programs, making manufacturers accountable for collecting and recycling their products after the end of their life cycle. This encourages manufacturers to design products with recycling in mind, leading to more eco-friendly vehicles and electronic devices. This session will attract experts in e-waste management, manufacturers and policymakers to discuss Uganda’s strategies for managing e-waste.
  1. Health as the central driver for clean cooking adoption
    It is estimated that over 700 million people living in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are dependent on polluting biomass fuels (such as wood and charcoal) for household cooking. The limited access to clean cooking globally contributes to 3.7 million premature deaths annually, with women and children most at risk. Indeed, poor indoor air quality is a leading cause of premature death worldwide. For instance, in Africa, women and children account for 60% of early deaths related to smoke inhalation and indoor air pollution. In Uganda, the World Health Organization estimated that 23,000 people, mostly women and children lose lives annually. Dirty cooking options contribute to respiratory complications and cardiovascular diseases, hence death. Unfortunately, the correlation between the health complications and dirty cooking options remains least pronounced in developing countries. Although clean cooking options have largely been perceived to be costly, several households spend significant amounts of money treating health complications emanating from the use of dirty cooking options. This session will attract public health, clean cooking and policy experts to discuss avenues of promoting clean cooking options leveraging their health and long-term financial benefits.
  1. Unlocking investment through data aggregation
    The most important attribute underpinning efficient markets and development is high-quality, timely, and trustworthy data. It could be economic data such as gross domestic product (GDP) growth, inflation, exchange rates, or a country’s account balance; capital markets data such as bank lending rates, trading volumes, and options prices; industry data such as market sizes and growth rates for various sectors; and firm data such as financial statements, company registrations, background checks, and ownership records. Access to this data, when it exists, is standardized, and is publicly available, helps investors make sound decisions. Public- and private-sector institutions in Uganda have had challenges gathering, aggregating, standardizing, and disseminating this kind of data. The vast majority of economic activities across country are informal, making it difficult to understand and measure. In addition, Uganda’s immature public capital markets face structural problems including inadequate regulatory disclosures, low trading volumes, a lack of liquidity, and a small number of listings that restrict the production of information. Whereas public exchanges at least require minimum levels of information disclosure, private markets, where most of the investable opportunities are, have no such standard. Beyond the surface, data aggregation holds a wealth of untapped potential. This session will constitute of experts in data management discussing opportunities and mechanisms of appropriately aggregating data in Uganda’s energy sector.
  1. Digitalization of national energy resources and systems
    Digitalization, an emerging trend reshaping the energy sector, paves the way for sustained enhancements in energy efficiency. In this context, policy development can consider the multifaceted aspects of digitalization to ensure a net benefit to the entire energy system and its stakeholders. Digitalisation has an impact right across the energy value chain, from generation to transport, distribution, supply and consumption. A system-wide approach, it promotes cooperation between digital and energy stakeholders needed for digitalisation of energy to better contribute to the national priorities. As the transformation from analog to digital continues, digital technologies will make energy systems more connected, intelligent, efficient, reliable and sustainable in the coming decades. Technologies that can improve the way we use energy and help find solutions to decarbonising our energy systems include information and communication technologies (ICT), modern sensors, big data and artificial intelligence, and the internet of things. Ensuring that the ICT sector is efficient and environmentally friendly in its operation and energy consumption is also important. In addition, the development of digital solutions needs an infrastructure fit for the future, with common standards, gigabit networks and secure clouds of both current and next generations. Such infrastructure will allow consumers to engage in the energy transition in a new way, benefitting from better services based on digital innovations, more efficient energy use and energy savings. This session will attract experts from the ICT sector, energy sector and policymakers to deliberate on Uganda’s readiness for a digitalized energy system.
  1. Smart grids and load balance management
    There is a new kid on the block when it comes to options available to countries and utilities for putting together climate action plans, and it is smart grid. Load balance management ensures that the electricity demand matches the available supply at all times. In a smart grid, load balance management becomes more sophisticated due to the real-time data provided by smart meters and sensors. While smart grids and load balance management offer numerous benefits, challenges such as cybersecurity, interoperability, and regulatory frameworks need to be addressed. The ongoing development of technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning holds the potential to further enhance the capabilities of smart grids. The implementation of smart grids and effective load balance management is pivotal for creating a resilient, sustainable, and efficient electricity distribution system. As technology continues to advance, the ongoing collaboration between industry stakeholders, policymakers, and researchers will be crucial in addressing challenges and unlocking the full potential of smart grid solutions. This session will focus directly on how demand response (DR), distributed energy resource (DER), and other smart grid options can play a role in advancing energy access and reliability in Uganda and East African region at large.
  1. South-South and North-South Technology transfer
    The transfer of technology has been mainly subject to the North-South dichotomy where the North is regarded as the principal source of technical knowledge to the South. Nevertheless, as new economic powers emerge in the South, the scene of international technology transfer is changing rapidly. Many South-South endeavors on transfer of technology are on the rise. Thus, a new model of transfer of technology is gaining momentum, in particular the South-South Model of transfer of technology. Innovations able to generate concrete projects and products in other countries through South-South and South-South-North cooperation could be promoted by taking into account the existence of legal barriers, intellectual property constraints, the level of technological complexity, dependence of an innovation on particular social institutional, cultural or environmental situations. This session will attract expert with the aim to look at this issue of how the South-South cooperation in the field of transfer of technology evolve, how the rise of the South affects the North-South conflict in the context of transfer of technology, and the impact of the South-South cooperation in the field of technology transfer on the North.
  1. Energy local content and indigenous knowledge management
    Local content, which is the expression and communication of a community’s locally owned and adapted knowledge and experience that is relevant to the community’s situation. Indigenous knowledge systems are not only the knowledge and practices of culture, custom, agriculture, medicine, bio-diversity, ethno-numeracy, customary law, and so on, but also the rationality of these cultural practices and rites that effects social cohesion, creativity and artistry of dance and music, technologies of fashioning clothing and beadwork. Indigenous knowledge, for instance, helps communities cope with periodic food shortages by utilizing the traditional know-how of preserving food, thus revitalizing agriculture and increasing food security. Indigenous people can provide valuable input in the local environment for the efficient use and management of local resources. In promoting clean energy technologies, it is paramount to be cognizant of the indigenous knowledge and embracement of local content. This session will discuss indigenous clean cooking methods, energy related local content and how to optimally utilize then in the energy mix and transition.
  1. Incorporating Generative AI into Energy planning and management
    The energy sector stands as one of the most challenging and demanding industries. Despite how lucrative this domain is, businesses in this field are less active in adopting new technologies and mostly rely on manual work. Nevertheless, the potential of artificial intelligence, with its promise of remarkable benefits, has prompted them to openly explore its capabilities and engage in testing specific use cases. With its innovative capabilities, Generative AI in the energy industry and utilities has opened up new solutions to longstanding challenges. Compensating for a dearth of talent, facilitating sustainable energy consumption, and predicting maintenance needs are just a few examples of what it can offer to utility companies. It’s not surprising that 36% of the enterprises in the sector have already adopted the tool. This session will discuss the incorporation of generative AI and machine learning technologies in the energy sector for appropriate planning and management of resources and systems.
  1. Energy knowledge for millennials in building a golden Uganda
    Schools have initiated skilling of learners about renewable energy and its benefits. The renewable energy skilling initiatives seek to empower and provide learners with a solid understanding of various renewable energy sources. By introducing innovative educational programmes and practical demonstrations, the initiatives aim to inspire the next generation to embrace sustainable energy solutions and raise awareness about environmental challenges and the importance of adopting sustainable energy practices within the school and the broader community. Also, intend to prepare the future generation to be advocates for a sustainable future. This session will bring together learners from different schools to discuss and debate renewable energy, energy transition and climate change, and suggest options to advance their awareness, advocacy, and adoption.
  1. Championing clean energy access through cultural institutions
    The Traditional Cultural Leaders Act of 2011 stipulates the role of cultural institutions in transforming the livelihoods of their communities. Cultural institutions have strong influence on the choices of its loyal subjects on how they perceive things. They are strategic institutions to work with in order to achieve the mission of ensuring reliable, adequate, and sustainable exploitation, management, and utilization of Uganda’s energy and mineral resources. This session will bring together representatives of cultural institutions to discuss avenues of collaboration with the central government, planned and ongoing clean energy initiatives at the kingdom/chiefdom level, as well as opportunities for fostering clean energy diffusion.
  1. Partnerships for clean energy access
    Since 2012, over 493 million people have gained energy access from off-grid solar products. Yet despite this incredible achievement, the world is still not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 —universal energy access— by 2030. The biggest shortfall will be in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where nearly 600 million people are projected to still be living without electricity in 2030 – forcing hundreds of millions to continue to rely on polluting, expensive, and hazardous lighting and energy sources. Through partnerships, we can move faster by leveraging each other’s strengths – if we don’t, we risk a fragmented, ad-hoc approach with marginal impact. Together, we can leverage the collective experience and track record of market leaders, and reach those regions and customers at risk of being left behind in the clean energy transition. This session will bring together development partners to discuss prioritized approaches for fast-tracking universal energy access in Uganda.
  1. Energizing refugee settings and host communities
    In remote host communities, people often rely on harmful energy sources for their daily needs, such as charcoal, wood, kerosene, and diesel generators. Humanitarian organisations frequently overlook energy access, and when they do address it, there is a tendency to rely on low-quality freely distributed products. Access to energy is essential if we are to provide the most vulnerable populations with electricity, sustainable cooking technologies, clean water, and economic opportunities. The Sustainable Energy Response Plan (SERP) for Refugees and Host Communities complements the holistic approach of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and sets a precedent by integrating refugees into national energy planning, thereby emphasising the importance of energy access for an effective response within the Humanitarian, Development and Peace Nexus. This session will explore how to build energy markets that reach the bottom of the pyramid with life changing energy products and services, drawing from first-hand experiences in humanitarian and other last-mile contexts. The discussion will interest anyone keen to work in partnership to collectively ramp-up sustainable energy access in the hardest-to-reach communities. Discussions will also cover financing mechanisms for de-risking and incentivizing private sector supply value chains, and demand side subsidies.
  1. Development Agenda: Research for policy, industry and social transformation
    Research is a critical foundation for programs that seek to engage communities in change and in the development of more sustainable societies. Without appropriate research, programs aimed at change are likely to be based on implicit or assumed problem identification and/or inferred community needs and wishes. If we are to achieve community participation in activities that lead to real change, research to find out about those communities is the first step. This session will make a case on why science, technology, and innovation are important for the clean energy transition. Academicians will demonstrate how they have used scientific analysis to understand the impacts of energy systems and climate change on community livelihoods. The session will also focus on how to develop a scientific hub for energy research and to assess how academic institutions were successful in developing partnerships in energy research, and what is needed to harmonize efforts to advance collaboration in implementing research findings.
  1. Nature and Energy: In the voice of Civil Society Organizations
    Natural resources underpin economies world over, through resources like water, food security, sustainable charcoal and wildlife habitat. Nature also serves as a bridge to a clean energy future, providing critical carbon sequestration and storage. How do we capitalize on the need for our natural world to support our planet, while continuing to ensure our forests and agricultural lands provide for people as well? The session aims at showcasing the critical role of civil society in shaping the global energy agenda and implementation of commitments and pledges under SDG7. This discussion will explore the range of natural climate solutions and present a menu of policy options and best practices that can be employed to meet the challenges and opportunities at hand.
  1. Tapping into the religious voices in clean energy deployment discourse
    Religion influences many people’s world views, lifestyles and engagement, making it a powerful force for individual and collective change. Religion plays an integral part in all societies and is the most important source of values for many people. Any development policy that respects people as individuals must also respect their individual world views. For most people, this world view is fundamentally shaped by their religion. Religious values and beliefs influence many attitudes relating to the environment, suggesting that they are also likely to shape preferences over energy systems and policies. Religion can offer its prophetic voice in order to promote environmental flourishing and counter environmentally harmful actions and social developments. Speaking forth clean energy adoption by the religious leaders energizes behavioural change and choices towards positive change. This session will bring together religious leaders of the different faiths to discuss opportunities and experiences of promoting and being ambassadors for clean energy as well as working closely with the central government in promoting clean energy.
  1. Biodigester market development: what is missing?
    Translating the theoretical potential of biogas into a practical pipeline of projects on the ground comes with several challenges. From an entrepreneurial perspective, reaching the necessary scale needed to make a business case can sometimes be difficult. The challenges related to scale stem from seasonal variations in feedstock availability, resulting in insufficient raw materials to meet the required biogas production levels. In Uganda, for instance, the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle results in a decrease in overall feedstock availability. Technology costs can also pose a challenge. The installation cost of a biodigester can vary significantly based on factors such as the type of biodigester, manufacturing materials, labour and logistical considerations. Higher-end costs associated with logistics, for example, often place a heavier burden on rural and isolated areas compared with urban areas. This session will bring together seasoned planners, developers and promoters of biogas technologies to discuss ways for developing the biogas market in Uganda and beyond.
  1. Tail end of NDP III: Energy sector accomplishments
    The NPD III set a goal to increase access and consumption of clean energy by 2025. Its intended key results to be achieved over the five years are:
    (i) Increase primary energy consumption from 15.20 million tones of oil equivalent to 21.74 million tones in 2025;
    (ii) Increase proportion of the population with access to electricity from 24% in FY2018/19 to 60%; 
    (iii) Increase per capita electricity consumption from 100 kWh in FY2018/19 to 578kWh;
    (iv) Reduce share of biomass Energy used for cooking from 85% in FY2018/19 to 50%;
    (v) Increase the share of clean energy used for cooking from 15% in FY2018/19 to 50%;
    (vi) Increase Transmission capacity from 2,354km in 2018/19 to 4,354km of High voltage transmission lines; and
    (vii) Increase grid reliability to 90%.
    This session intends to take stock of the NPD III’s accomplishments and shortfalls in increasing access and consumption of clean energy in Uganda. The session will also highlight the planned clean energy targets for NPD IV.
  1. Cleaning the energy market: Adherence to standards and quality
    There is a larger volume of standards for the more mature technologies and they are typically more in-depth. Involvement in the standards-making process is strongest when there are financial incentives, as illustrated by the case of standards for solar photovoltaics.  Furthermore, the inventory also shows that while certain aspects concerning post-installation of renewable energy equipment, such as operation, maintenance and repair, are included in some standards, there is still potential for their further development. Standards provide an important element in protecting consumers, particularly where they have little or no choice in what they are offered.  Many rural communities in developing countries do not have the luxury of being able to compare features and select their supplier or product from facilities such as the internet. In such cases, standards and quality assurance mechanisms can ensure that whatever product or service is available performs as specified, is reliable, durable and safe. This session will bring together standards makers and enforcers to discuss how the market can be safeguarded from counterfeits by upholding the set product and service standards and quality.
  1. Energy enabling environment in the eye of the private sector
    Creating and maintaining an effective enabling environment requires a strong and transparent regulatory framework that facilitates both private and public investment. The framework should include a regulatory institution that is autonomous, has clear authority and capacity to fulfill its mandate, and is held accountable for its decisions and actions. It should also establish and maintain clear relationships and lines of accountability between key power sector institutions, including Ministries, utilities, and the regulator. The framework should also clarify important regulatory aspects such as pricing, land rights, offtake arrangements, and performance standards – which can reduce investor risk while contributing to other public policy objectives such as environmental protection and universal access. This session will bring together private sector actors to share their views about the existing energy policy and regulatory framework, their gaps and areas of improvement.
  1. Policy Advocacy: A spotlight on the development partners’ interventions
    The goal of policy advocacy, as the name suggests, is to change official policies, laws, and practices. It is different from the work of educating individuals or communities; rather than advocating for broad community understanding or behavioral change, with policy advocacy we are specifically looking for people in positions of power to change, eliminate, or create policies that will better support our efforts. Development partners have been supporting the sector to advocate for policies that are inclusivity, just and realistic to guarantee a sustainable market performance and diffusion of clean energy technologies. This session will constitute of a panel of development partner representative discussing their continued support to policy advocacy and some of the intervention put in place to advance clean energy penetration across the country.
  1. A sincere discourse on energy access and affordability: Government’s perspective
    The government is responsible for setting the policy for the energy sector and proposing any changes to this statutory framework. Its clear role is to support policy issues such as decarbonisation and operate within this framework. Where there are important policy gaps that affect consumers, the government comes through to address them. The government continually seeks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its approach. This includes setting out the costs and benefits, as well as the social and environmental impacts, of all major decisions. It regulates only where necessary to protect consumers’ interests and carefully considers whether any regulatory requirement proposes is proportionate and to ensure market stability and affordability of products and services by the populace. It also carries out investigations into company behaviour once believed to have breached a condition of their licence, or the requirements of consumer protection, or competition legislation. This same will bring together government representatives from key ministries regulating the energy sector activities to discuss government’s policies and strategies supporting clean energy access and affordability across the country.
  1. District energy focal Persons: Championing clean energy access at the grassroot
    There is a myriad of often competing ideas of how best to make the clean energy transition, but the reality is that we need to be using all possible solutions and avenues if we are to avoid climate catastrophe. While the transition most certainly requires large-scale, coordinated, governmental action, individual consumer and smaller governmental action play indispensable roles as well. In fact, local governmental initiatives can not only help individual communities but can also precipitate and support more robust renewable energy policy at district and regional level. This session will bring together focal persons of the sub-regional forum to deliberate on matters of energy decentralization. The session will have representation of central government, development partners, local government, civil society organization.
  1. Compliance and consumer protection: End-users’ experiences and preferences
    Uganda does not have a comprehensive policy and legal regime on consumer protection that guarantees consumer rights and obligations. Generally, there is fragmentation in the legal and policy framework on aspects related to promotion of fair competition and consumer protection.  A number of sub-sectors such as; energy, financial services, communication, transport, tourism, health, trade, and professional services have some laws that govern some aspects of competition; but these are absent in most sectors.  Similarly, there is no coherence in institutional frameworks dealing with fair competition and consumer protection. To address this gap, Uganda adopted a National Competition and Consumer Protection Policy 2014 and the Trade Industry and Cooperatives tabled the Consumer Protection Bill 2024 aimed at setting standards for the quality, safety, and reliability of goods and also provides remedies in case of non-compliance with those standards as well as prohibiting unfair trade practices. This session will bring together energy systems’ end-users to discuss their experiences of the energy systems, expectations of the Consumer Protection Bill 2024 and enforcement of standards.
  1. Policy: What has already happened and what is coming?
    When it comes to energy, climate change represents a new area where policymakers have to consider actions and steps, both on the mitigation front and in terms of resiliency and preparedness. Captive power could be a game changer for commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors to mitigate some their current energy changes. However, for C&! captive power to thrive, it is crucial to have a conducive enabling environment in place. This session will feature panels talking about how policy has developed and where policymaking might be headed in the future.
  1. Designing holistic energy access plans: Where does electric cooking fit in?
    Countries with relatively higher electricity generation and low clean cooking access rates are not making sufficient use of electricity for cooking purposes. For instance, Uganda has a long-standing history of maintaining a relatively high electricity generation level from renewable energy resources but continues to have lower usage of that electricity for cooking purposes. Uganda has made strides in setting electric cooking targets as part of its clean cooking energy mix for 2040 and 2050 in its Energy Transition Plan. Its plan, however, assumes a conservative approach to projecting the share of electric cooking in the energy mix. It anticipates that low-income households will have difficulties in affording electricity for cooking. The roadmap gives top priority to improved biomass cookstoves and LPG, assigning them the largest share in the clean cooking mix. This session will discuss appropriately electric cooking would be integrated in the country’s clean cooking targets.
  1. Energy at the interface of tourism promotion
    Energy tourism belongs to the not-so-well-known fields of tourism. Energy tourism is a novel field of tourism that will likely grow in the future. Relationship between tourism development, energy demand and growth factors are widely investigated and monitored in developed and developing countries. Being a part of the industrial tourism or a special interest tourism, this type of tourism includes visits to the energy facilities and locations such as factories, mines, power stations and renewable energy sites. It is important to describe the niche of the energy tourism within the tourism market and assesses its potential. Sometimes, the energy tourism might intervene with dark tourism, for example, in the case of the tourist visits to the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power station. In addition, this type of tourism is closely correlated with the public and social acceptance of traditional and renewable energy facilities. Therefore, this might be a promising and emerging type of tourism that will likely grow due to the ongoing industrialization and expenditure of energy-generating facilities envisaged for meeting the growing demand for energy all around the world. This session will bring together tourism and energy experts to discuss synergy avenues and collaborations to promote Uganda and the region.