The cabinet is preparing a Hydropower Development Master Plan to build several 50-megawatt dams along the River Nile.
President Museveni, in his State of the Nation address delivered to Parliament on Wednesday, said the plan is part of government's strategy to increase the generation of renewable energy in Uganda. He said the signing of a new Nile Treaty agreement, which spells out use of the world's longest river, has laid the foundation to explore new ways of maximizing Uganda's hydro electric power potential.
The Hydropower Development Master Plan is being developed with financial assistance from the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. It is expected to be complete next year.
President Museveni said government is on course in the completion of the 250-megawatt Bujagali Hydropower Project. He said 65 percent of the work on the site has been completed and the dam will be opened next year.
Feasibility studies are ongoing for hydropower projects at Karuma and Isimba. Construction of dams in Mpanga, Ishasha and Buseruka are underway. President Museveni said that when all projects are complete, Uganda will produce 3,000 megawatts. He said in the next 15 years, the plan is to increase electricity production to 25,000 megawatts.
The President said both Karuma and Isimba power projects will be fully funded by Government through the Energy Fund.
Increased energy production is also expected to come from diesel and gas generated in the Lake Albert oil valley.
To date, 35 oil wells have been drill. 33 of these have encountered oil and gas.
President Museveni said that with a reserve of one billion barrels of oil, Uganda has adequate reserves to commence commercial production. He did not give a timeline for when this would start, but said negotiations with international oil companies have been expedited to ensure that production starts as soon as possible.
While the country will produce more energy, President Museveni said his government is determined that it should not waste the new resource. He said he has initiated policies to prevent energy waste.
Energy auditing is being carried out in major government institutions, with a plan to reduce waste by up to 10 megawatts.
President Museveni said energy waste is also being curbed by closer monitoring of wetland and forest destruction. He said 497 hectares of land around the shores of Lake Victoria have been recovered and trees are being planted on them to save the lake.
779 community water and tree planting groups have been formed to increase rural environmental protection.
Additionally, 69 oil and gas related projects have been reviewed to ensure their compliance with environmental standards.
President Museveni said he would personally guide the environmental protection program. He said he would use political methods to lead the process.
The President didn't explain the political methods he intends to employ. He however said they would not cause conflict. He accused the National Environment Management Authority and the National Forestry Authority of mishandling environmental protection in the past and causing unnecessary violence.
state of the nation address