The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the government of Uganda Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development have signed a 572,000 dollar grant to analyze the potential for a biofuels market in Uganda. The grant, signed on August 28th, will provide cost-benefit analysis on potential biofuel resources and technologies, as well as recommend appropriate industry regulations and potential incentives for the development of safe and responsible biofuel production.
An important objective of the agreement is to advise the Ugandan government on how to mitigate the environmental and social impacts that may arise from the unregulated development on an indigenous biofuels sector. The two most serious risks are rainforest destruction and possible negative impacts on food supply and food prices.
"This grant supports Uganda's Renewable Energy Policy, and particularly enhances the government's efforts to design a regulatory framework that will encourage the development of a biofuels industry and increase energy security without jeopardizing the country's food supply," said U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Steven Browning, who signed the grant on behalf of USTDA. Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, signed on behalf of the government of Uganda.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.
Biofuels are an important part of the U.S. strategy for reducing America's dependence on oil and its emissions of greenhouse gases. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that thirteen million tons of greenhouse gases were avoided in 2007 due to biofuels production and use. Advances in biofuels technology continue and cellulosic biofuels represent the next generation of biofuels. These biofuels are made from non-food sources and promise even more significant reductions in greenhouse gas.
The U.S. government is committed to working with partners like the government of Uganda to promote research, development, and demonstration of new biofuels technology.