Africa Energy Outlook 2019

Africa’s energy future matters for the world

"How Africa meets the energy needs of a fast-growing and increasingly urban population is crucial for its economic and energy future – and the world"
Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director


Africa Energy Outlook 2019 is the IEA’s most comprehensive and detailed work to date on energy across the African continent, with a particular emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa.

It includes detailed energy profiles of 11 countries that represent three-quarters of the region’s gross domestic product and energy demand, including Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana.

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Africa’s young, fast growing and increasingly urban population drives global energy trends


	2018	Growth to 2040
China	1.40	0.02
India	1.35315	0.24014
Africa	1.2873927	0.8081001
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Growing urban populations mean rapid growth in energy demand for industrial production, cooling and mobility. With the growing appetite for modern and efficient energy sources, Africa also emerges as a major force in global oil and gas markets. The projected growth in oil demand is higher than that of China and second only to that of India as the size of the car fleet more than doubles (the bulk of which have low fuel efficiency) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is increasingly used for clean cooking. Africa’s growing weight is also felt in natural gas markets as the continent becomes the third-largest source of global gas demand growth over the same period.

Africa's role in global energy growth, 2018-40

 

Full energy access remains elusive under current and planned policies


A critical task for policy makers is to address the persistent lack of access to electricity and clean cooking, and the unreliability of electricity supply, which have acted as brakes on the continent’s development. Today some 600 million people do not have access to electricity and around 900 million people lack access to clean cooking. Nonetheless, the momentum behind today’s policy and investment plans is not yet enough to meet the energy needs of Africa’s population in full.

Despite progress in several countries (e.g. Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda), current and planned efforts to provide access to modern energy services barely outpace population growth. In 2030, 530 million people still lack access to electricity and nearly one billion people lack access to clean cooking. As a result, the global population without access to energy becomes increasingly concentrated with 90% without access to electricity and almost 50% without access to clean cooking in 2040 living on the African continent.

Number of people without access to electricity and clean cooking in sub-Saharan Africa in the Stated Policies Scenario
	People without access	Kenya	Ethiopia	Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda	Other sub-Saharan Africa
2000	511.1275	28.9655	63.4098	24.735196	394.017004
2001	518.4744	29.5737	63.5092	24.9405567	400.4509433
2002	525.2196	30.1915	63.553	24.9905206	406.4845794
2003	534.975	30.1889	63.5313	25.318879	415.935921
2004	544.6219	30.1645	63.4304	25.4481936	425.5788064
2005	554.4157	30.8499	64.3411	25.279459	433.945241
2006	563.8453	31.5535	65.221	25.1444476	441.9263524
2007	572.593	32.2741	66.0729	24.8975147	449.3484853
2008	579.01089	33.0096	66.9045	24.5548872	454.5419028
2009	585.57386	33.7588	67.7227	24.1122759	459.9800841
2010	592.52642	33.8657	68.5336	23.410631	466.716489
2011	602.35113	34.3932	69.3362	23.20769	475.41404
2012	608.34601	34.9176	71.0432	22.675248	479.709962
2013	611.34289	33.8444	72.7791	22.18313	482.53626
2014	609.33199	32.677	69.6417	21.55068933	485.4626007
2015	605.83075	27.7748	66.2657	20.79622933	490.9940207
2016	603.24462	22.5833	62.645	19.92722	498.0891
2017	599.61866	17.7926	58.7759	17.4496452	505.6005148
2018	596.31213	12.7148	59.2588	16.1055597	508.2329703
2019	586.57568	8.4516	54.6892	14.46652037	508.9683596
2020	577.43898	4.20413	50.1498	12.83773108	510.2473189
2021	567.58985	2.14651	44.0553	11.07523883	510.3128012
2022	558.18167	0.103855	37.9842	9.321611919	510.7720031
2023	551.16298	0	31.9351	7.577656258	511.6502237
2024	544.737345	0	25.9065	5.845363588	512.9854814
2025	538.8287114	0	19.8968	4.12610726	514.8058041
2026	533.751	0	14.4318	2.304054059	517.0151459
2027	529.993	0	8.9816	1.20132	519.81008
2028	527.274	0	3.54288	0.630412	523.100708
2029	526.908	0	0	0.0626764	526.8453236
2030	531.027	0	0	0	531.027
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	People without access	Ghana	Cote d'Ivoire	Tanzania	Kenya	Other sub-Saharan Africa
2000	606.3170184	17.8235	13.715	33.5286	30.4153	510.8346184
2001	620.8217034	18.1401	14.013	34.5188	31.1794	522.9704034
2002	635.8833695	18.4685	14.2899	35.562	31.9605	535.6024695
2003	651.292848	18.8071	14.5548	36.6623	32.7603	548.508348
2004	667.1340819	19.1548	14.8257	37.8242	33.5815	561.7478819
2005	683.5019608	19.5084	15.1125	39.0497	34.4258	575.4055608
2006	699.2783098	19.8216	15.3986	40.1635	35.1238	588.7708098
2007	715.5203704	20.1385	15.704	41.3354	35.8359	602.5065704
2008	732.2230629	20.4551	16.0293	42.5571	36.5595	616.6220629
2009	749.3495483	20.7659	16.3754	43.8193	37.2933	631.0956483
2010	766.8774206	21.0681	16.7431	45.1148	38.0337	645.9177206
2011	782.9435437	21.2748	16.8466	46.3466	38.5852	659.8903437
2012	802.7758156	21.467	16.9596	47.6043	39.1308	677.6141156
2013	819.7230044	21.6453	17.0753	48.8893	39.6672	692.4459044
2014	836.9120666	21.8114	17.1889	50.203	40.1909	707.5178666
2015	854.3241345	21.9643	17.2952	51.5475	40.6997	722.8174345
2016	874.0167235	22.0833	17.3929	52.944	41.5696	740.0269235
2017	889.6081703	22.1157	17.4815	54.3706	42.4404	753.1999703
2018	905.3257152	22.1374	17.5733	55.7787	43.2347	766.6016152
2019	928.3480139	20.6462	17.3077	56.879	43.3021	790.2130139
2020	942.4899827	19.8729	17.0053	57.8116	43.2598	804.5403827
2021	956.0122532	19.4828	16.677	58.5403	43.021	818.2911532
2022	967.3787938	19.0192	16.3336	58.6312	42.6092	830.7855938
2023	977.3204756	18.2899	15.9776	58.4231	42.1626	842.4672756
2024	986.6801783	17.9737	15.5906	57.8914	41.6004	853.6240783
2025	992.6979104	17.6993	15.2312	56.8443	40.9011	862.0220104
2026	995.2268428	17.4191	14.8879	55.227	40.0694	867.6234428
2027	994.5916942	17.0865	14.5613	53.1691	39.1118	870.6629942
2028	990.8171821	16.702	14.2587	50.694	38.0273	871.1351821
2029	983.9442213	16.2738	13.9711	47.8537	36.8609	868.9847213
2030	974.2476256	15.8257	13.7006	44.7803	35.6158	864.3252256
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The Africa Case points the way to a brighter future


The Africa Case outlines a way to lift these constraints. It is also built on the premise of “Agenda 2063”, the continent’s own vision of accelerated economic and industrial development, which was established by the Heads of State and Governments of the African Union in 2015 and is incorporated in the national planning framework of over 30 countries. In this case, faster economic expansion is accompanied by the full achievement of access to electricity and clean cooking, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 7.

In the case of electricity, this would require tripling the average number of people gaining access every year from around 20 million today to over 60 million people. Grid extension and densification is the least cost option for nearly 45% of the population gaining access by 2030, mini-grids for 30% and stand-alone systems for around a quarter. LPG is used by more than half of those gaining access to clean cooking in urban areas across sub-Saharan Africa, while improved cookstoves are the preferred solution in rural areas. Electrification, biogas, ethanol and other solutions also play important roles.

	Grid extension and densification	Mini-grids	Stand-alone systems
Electricity	43	31	26
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	LPG	Improved cookstoves	Electricity	Gas & biogas	Ethanol and others
Clean cooking	36	35	12	12	6
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In the Africa Case, although the size of the economy in 2040 is four-times larger than today, total primary energy demand is only 50% higher - energy use in this case is actually lower than in the Stated Policies Scenario even though economic growth is significantly stronger. The reasons are linked not only to the accelerated move away from solid biomass but also strengthened policies for energy efficiency: these include fuel economy standards for cars and two/three-wheelers, more efficient industrial processes, building codes and efficiency standards for appliances and cooling systems.

	Biomass	Nuclear	Coal	Oil	Natural gas	Renewables
2018	371.29	3.72	111.33	192.65	134.19	18.06
2040 Stated Policies	483	11	114	334	263	126
2040 Africa Case	212	19	100	362	290	223
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	GDP
2018	6.813
2040 Stated Policies	17.091
2040 Africa case	25.263
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Renewables push ahead to power Africa’s brighter future


	Transport	Productive uses	Households with access in 2018	Households gaining access 
2018	6.10	448.26	231.44	0.00
2040 STEPS	24.03	899.26	615.33	75.98
2040 AC	40.33	1195.52	751.0254306	334.090509
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	Coal	Gas	Oil	Hydro	Wind	Solar PV	Geothermal	Other renewables
2018	257.9192564	345.3042905	76.631516	131.007582	15.01928811	6.2698621	4.8477134	21.5801237
2040 STEPS	238.27333	657.8546	83.901162	351.33984	159.421507	228.87976	58.543638	118.536233
2040 AC	170.9938493	849.9081336	102.4213236	512.07388	263.554217	532.9833	94.73469107	213.4526069
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In the Africa Case, solar PV deployment averages almost 15 GW a year, reaching 320 GW in 2040, overtaking hydropower and natural gas to become the largest electricity source in Africa in terms of installed capacity. Wind also expands rapidly in several countries that benefit from high quality wind resources, most notably Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa while Kenya is also at the forefront of geothermal deployment.

The Africa Case requires building a more reliable power system and greater focus on transmission and distribution assets. A key priority is targeted investment and maintenance to reduce power outages, a major obstacle to enterprise, and to decrease losses from 16% today to a level approaching advanced economies (less than 10%). There is also a need to build up the regulation and capacity to support Africa’s power pools and strengthen regional electricity markets.

Africa needs a significant scale-up in electricity sector investment in generation and grids, for which it currently ranks among the lowest in the world. Despite being home to 17% of the world’s population, Africa currently accounts for just 4% of global power supply investment. Achieving reliable electricity supply for all would require an almost fourfold increase, to around $120 billion a year through 2040. Mobilising this level of investment is a significant undertaking, but can be done if policy and regulatory measures are put in place to improve the financial and operational efficiency of utilities and to facilitate a more effective use of public funds to catalyse private capital. Nurturing Africa’s own financial sector is also critical to ensure a sustained flow of long-term financing to energy projects.

 

Natural gas is facing a potential turning point in Africa


In North Africa, gas already meets around half of the region’s energy needs, but in sub-Saharan Africa, it has thus far been a niche fuel. The share of gas in the energy mix is around 5%, the lowest in the world. The future could be different. There have been a series of major discoveries in recent years, in Egypt, East Africa (Mozambique and Tanzania), West Africa (Senegal and Mauritania) and South Africa, which collectively accounted for over 40% of global gas discoveries between 2011 and 2018. These developments could fit well with Africa’s push for industrial growth and its need for reliable electricity supply (constraining the expansion of more polluting fossil fuels). Much will depend on the price at which gas becomes available, the development of distribution networks (including small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution), the financing available for infrastructure and the strength of policy efforts to displace polluting fuels.

In our projections, Africa becomes a major player in natural gas as a producer, consumer and exporter. Gas demand in Africa doubles to 2040 in the Stated Policies Scenario. The growth in production is considerably higher than the rise in demand, and Africa – led by Mozambique and Egypt – emerges as a major supplier of LNG to global markets.

	North Africa	Sub-Saharan Africa	Rest of the World
Demand	3.00	1.00	96
Production 	4.00	2.00	94
New discoveries	8	33	59
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Energy transitions bring mixed implications for African resources


Africa has abundant natural resources and the associated revenues could be an important motor for development. However, changing global energy dynamics mean that resource-holders cannot assume that their oil resources will translate into reliable future revenues. This year’s outlook incorporates higher US shale oil production, which is providing very strong competition for lighter African crudes. Accelerated energy transitions could result in lower global demand and prices and cut sharply into future revenues. Our analysis underscores the need for strategic thinking on future investments, transparent resource revenue management and efforts to reform and diversify economies.

Africa is also home to many of the mineral resources that are critical in driving global energy transitions. The Democratic Republic of the Congo accounts for two-thirds of global cobalt production and South Africa produces 70% of the world’s platinum. Rising demand for the minerals that can support global energy transitions offers an opportunity for minerals-rich countries in Africa, but failure to keep up with demand could not only hamper Africa’s economic outcomes but also hold back the pace of global energy transitions. Responsible stewardship of these resources is vital. Robust regulatory and oversight mechanisms would be needed to ensure that revenues produce visible positive results for local communities and that negative impacts on the environment are minimised.

	Oil net income	Gas net income	Government expenditure
2000	64.49482	9.256578111	73.18688879
2001	49.0247127	11.6208219	82.38591906
2002	48.5757526	10.1189635	82.21720306
2003	62.5470624	13.35208667	91.16418624
2004	84.8865333	14.28313077	104.9292518
2005	134.6962945	23.55210889	121.6300592
2006	164.3349451	31.93860588	147.4672335
2007	184.384155	30.77035188	206.3670547
2008	278.78923	53.1728958	255.9441217
2009	138.1999122	34.2263317	254.898286
2010	174.682128	31.492776	285.7485611
2011	216.42153	34.3976158	306.9261582
2012	236.581127	39.73968	354.533605
2013	191.61679	33.288932	372.0876805
2014	166.94312	32.85635505	371.1092673
2015	56.086193	27.076036	310.5207638
2016	39.376861	21.0396955	216.1299674
2017	67.53341	26.018474	248.9709936
2018	105.9901	27.613998	269.5025315
 			
2025	93.865	21.8927	
2030	107.654	34.2761	
2035	120.151	44.5276	
2040	130.382	57.1265	
 				
2025	61.7263	19.7205	
2030	56.9548	29.652	
2035	52.3658	40.363	
2040	48.5008	44.7762	
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Climate change matters in Africa, making resilient policy decisions critical


Africa has been a minor contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To date, energy-related CO₂ emissions in Africa represented around 2% of cumulative global emissions. Although Africa experiences rapid economic growth, its contribution to global cumulative CO₂ emissions increases to just 3% by 2040 in the Stated Policies Scenario. Higher economic growth in the Africa Case does not result in more GHG emissions as the increase in CO₂ emissions is offset by reductions in other GHGs (methane and nitrous oxide) linked to the inefficient combustion of biomass for cooking.

Cooling degree days in the Stated Policies Scenario and cooling electricity demand, 2018 and 2040
	Residential cooling demand	Additional demand without efficiency improvements
2018	10.79571227	
2040 Stated Policies	64.71555461	
2040 Africa Case	112.17151	111.1356205
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But Africa is in the front line when it comes to the effects of a changing climate on the energy sector. Today, Africa has some of the lowest ownership levels of cooling devices of any region, despite almost 700 million people living in areas where the average daily temperature exceeds 25 degrees. By 2040, this number approaches 1.2 billion as population expands and average temperatures increase with climate change. Without appropriate regulations on the type of equipment used for cooling, this would create a very strong increase in electricity demand. Increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts and floods is set to lead to more variability in generation output, notably from hydropower. Planning and investment decisions for energy infrastructure need to be climate resilient.

Share of Africa in cumulative global energy-related CO2 emissions
	Rest of the world	Africa
1890-2018	98	2
1890-2040 (STEPS)	97	3
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	1890-2018	2019-2040: Stated Policies	2019-2040: Increase in the Africa Case
Africa	36	33	2
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Africa’s energy pathway can be different


Thanks to resource endowments and technology improvements, Africa has the opportunity to pursue a much less carbon-intensive model of development than seen in many other parts of the world. The challenges and opportunities differ widely across a diverse continent. But renewables, together with natural gas in many areas, are poised to lead Africa’s energy consumption growth as the continent moves away from the traditional use of biomass that currently accounts for almost half of final energy consumption. With the appropriate policies to support a strong expansion of clean technologies and sufficient emphasis on energy efficiency improvements, Africa could be the first continent to achieve a significant level of economic and industrial growth with cleaner energy sources playing a prominent role than other economies in the past.

	Biomass	Coal	Oil	Natural gas	Renewables	Other
China (1990-2005)	-32.049213	674.34482	198.912305	28.17417643	28.490011	13.8326
India (2000-2018)	38.34	264.57	121.06	29.87	15.76	6.02
Stated Policies	93.15	0.90	139.45	130.25	108.66	7.68
Africa Case	-159.93	-11.57	168.88	154.95	204.79	14.86
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