The use of single wire earth return (SWER) as a potential solution to reduce the cost of rural electrification in Uganda
Da Silva, Izael Pereira
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The rural electrification in Uganda is facing an enormous challenge following the ongoing process of privatisation/liberalisation of the power sector. The Electricity Act enacted in November 1999 provides for more power utilities in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, ending a more than 40 years of monopoly of Uganda Electricity Board (UEB), a government parastatal. One of the consequences of this Act is that rural electrification pass to be responsibility of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. This ministry issued a document “Rural Electrification, Strategy and Plan” whose overall objective is to increase electricity accessibility in the rural areas from the actual less than 1% to 10% within 10 years. It supposes to electrify 300,000 new rural households. This objective is meant to be achieved using gridextension, mini-grids and photovoltaic solar systems. This present paper considers the possibility of using SWER for grid-extension and mini-grids aiming at reducing costs. Technical and regulatory aspects are presented.