Grid Densification Challenge Fund
|Partners||Uganda: Rural Electrification Agency (REA)|
The Government of Uganda puts strong emphasis on extending the national grid; increase in customer connections was not able to grow at the same rate. There is a significant share of people without access to electricity living within sight of power lines. The Ugandan Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has the mandate to facilitate the government's mission to achieve a rural electrification rate of at minimum 22% by the year 2022.
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The rationale of the project is that traditional electrification programmes often focus on grid extension to rural areas, leaving out opportunities for increasing access in already electrified communities. This is especially detriment to poor households as those are the ones more likely to be locked out by high connection costs. However, the potential to connect poor households at relatively low cost is extremely high, as low voltage lines are already available. The Grid Densification Challenge therefore aims exclusively at closing the electricity access gap in already electrified areas targeting poor households not yet connected to the grid. At the same time, the project aims to introduce an innovative element of competition and price finding through a reverse auction mechanism into the sector. By identifying projects through a competitive call targeting utilities from different countries the project aims to increase the value-for-money in grid densification.
The project intends to launch two calls aimed at national grid densification partners of the EnDev country programmes. The first pilot call in 2016 will only target utilites and/or rural electrification agencies in Mozambique and Uganda. The second call in 2017 will be open to all interested EnDev countries in sub-Sahara Africa. Local EnDev teams will support and advise the utilities/REAs in the preparation of the proposals.
REA from Uganda emerged as the winner from the first call with the target to connect 13,000 households.