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Barriers to the institutionalization of industrial energy efficiency in Africa: A case study from Uganda

Uganda’s ambitions to become a middle-income country by 2040 require an economic transformation that is led and aided by industrialization. This economic transformation and industrialization require efficient utilization of energy, including electricity. The cost of electricity in Uganda however, is not cheap; thus, there is an incentive for industries and policymakers to invest in energy efficiency measures.

Mbeo Ogeya / Published on 25 April 2022

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Tesfamichael, M., Twinomujuni, E., Ogeya, M., Ssebagala, S. and Mulugetta, Y. (2022). Barriers to the institutionalization of industrial energy efficiency in Africa: A case study from Uganda. WIREs Energy and Environment, e427.

Light industry generator plant in Naivasha, Kenya

Light industry generator plant in Naivasha, Kenya. Photo: Lawrence Nzuve / SEI.

The fact that energy efficiency could contribute to climate and other social policy objectives is an added advantage. The Government of Uganda has taken several initiatives to promote energy efficiency within the industrial sector since the mid-2000s, following a power crisis. However, although targeted interventions delivered demonstrable gains, efforts to institutionalize industrial energy efficiency are still a challenge.

In this article, institutional theory and the political economy approach are used to explore why institutionalization has been difficult to achieve in Uganda. The article pays attention to the underlying political and economic processes to observe the factors that contribute to the non-institutionalized status. It argues the need to build a robust regulatory framework with a deliberate intent to broaden consensus around a shared understanding of the trade-offs and benefits associated with energy efficiency.

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SEI author

Mbeo Ogeya
Mbeo Ogeya

Research Fellow

SEI Africa

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Topics and subtopics
Energy : Energy access, Renewables
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SEI Africa

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