Uganda launches feed-in tariff (FiT) program

Last week, Turkey revised its feed-in tariff (FiT) program, expanding it modestly, and added a new twist with bonus payments for "Made in Turkey" products. This week it is the US’s former military foe, Vietnam, that dipped its toe into the feed-in tariff waters by announcing a draft wind energy proposal. But it is Uganda that, quietly, without fanfare, announced one of the most sophisticated FIT programs in Africa.

Ugandans have launched a program they call a Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT). Uganda follows South Africa and Algeria with early feed-in tariff programs. However, Uganda appears to have learned lessons from other programs worldwide. The Uganda program offers tariffs for a full suite of technologies, including geothermal energy and bagasse, detailed hydro tariffs, as well as technology-specific program caps.

Of particular interest in Uganda’s FiT program are the highly differentiated tariffs for hydro projects from 1 to 8 megawatts (MW). The tariffs are in fact linear but presented in tabular form in increments of 100kW.

Further, the Uganda program specifies capacity caps for each technology by year. This is clear policy guidance on how much the country wants of which technology.

* Project size cap: <20 MW
* 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 100 kW increments
* Tariffs for eight different technologies, including geothermal
* Program capacity caps by technology and by year