NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Sustainable Renewable Energy Businesses in Uganda [NDF C3 C10]

The project aims at supporting the development of local renewable energy companies which will utilize renewable energy in a sustainable and financially beneficial manner.

Sustainable Renewable Energy Businesses in Uganda
Ref: NDF C3 C10

Nordic Partner: Norges Vel
Local Partner: Makerere University, College of Engineering
Other Partners: Husk Power Systems Private Ltd, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises, and Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Total Project Cost: EUR 670,680
NCF Financing: EUR 500,000
Agreement Signed: 30 September 2011
Project Classification: Mitigation / Renewable Energy
Duration: 24 Months (Completed)

Project Objective

The objective of the project was to support the development of local renewable energy companies to utilize renewable energy in a sustainable and financially beneficial manner.


The project has supported the development of local renewable energy companies through the establishment of a Renewable Energy incubator at Makerere University. The development of the renewable energy companies was driven by locals with competence and motivation, reflecting Ugandan realities and priorities. The project consisted of three parallel activities which were closely connected to gain synergies. The first activity was based on an open call, welcoming ideas from young entrepreneurs who would receive assistance in establishing companies that develop renewable energy projects. The second activity aimed to support existing small and medium-sized companies to develop renewable energy projects. The third activity consisted of a sustainable energy pilot project, where a renewable energy business model on husk power system was piloted. There were also crossover activities, such as annual networking events and workshops, to ensure that knowledge gained and lessons learned within the different activities would be shared.

Relevance for Climate Change

Approximately six per cent of Uganda's population has access to electricity. Producing renewable energy locally can offer a viable alternative in developing countries. To develop sustainable and affordable energy systems is a local business opportunity, which again could accelerate the development of cost-effective renewable energy in the region. According to the Uganda Investment Authority, existing investment opportunities include rural electrification, development of mini hydropower dams, solar photovoltaic systems and biomass, as well as promotion and development of new and renewable energy resources.

The project has fostered businesses developing renewable energy projects The project has benefited altogether 1,140 people. This includes 55 households that have access to electricity from the husk power system and 60 households that are connected to the grid from the power system. 11 entrepreneurs have been incubated to start and run renewable energy companies and 3 companies have fully established their businesses. The climate change mitigation impact is, however, in total 5,740 tCO2e/a from the SE-incubator, 37,800 tCO2e/a from two hydropower projects that have received SE-support and 538 tCO2e/a from the four husk power systems in SE-pilot.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The project was first of its kind at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology at Makerere University. The project has established a sustainable energy incubator for entrepreneurs, a support service to existing renewable SMEs and sustainable energy pilot projects. Through these innovative mechanisms the project has supported the development of new enterprises as well as existing enterprises developing actual sustainable renewable energy projects in a financially beneficial manner. There are not many other initiatives assisting these local companies, which have given the renewable energy Incubator great attention in Uganda among entrepreneurs and stakeholders.

More information

Norges Vel
Makerere University