Democratic Republic of the Congo Energy Outlook

Analysis from Africa Energy Outlook 2019

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.

 

Stated Policies

Africa Case

CAAGR 2018-40

 

2000

2018

2030

2040

2030

2040

STEPS

AC

GDP ($2018 billion, PPP)

29

73

132

238

195

455

5.5%

8.7%

Population (million)

47

84

120

156

120

156

2.8%

2.8%

  • with electricity access
  • 7%

    9%

    16%

    21%

    100%

    100%

    4.1%

    11.7%

  • with access to clean cooking
  • 3%

    3%

    4%

    5%

    100%

    100%

    2.0%

    17.1%

    CO2 emissions (Mt CO2)

    1

    3

    10

    16

    18

    18

    8.7%

    9.2%


    Note: STEPS = Stated Policies Scenario and AC = Africa Case

     

    Policy Key targets and measures

     

    Performance targets

    • Complete the construction of Inga 3 Basse-Chute dam.
    • Reduce GHG emissions by 17% by 2030 compared to the business-as-usual scenario (430 Mt CO2-equivalent), equivalent to slightly more than a 70 Mt CO2 reduction.
    • Plant about three million hectares of forest by 2025.

    Industrial development target

    • Achieve high-income status by 2050 by means of rigorous implementation of the National Strategic Plan for the National Strategic Plan for Development.



     

    Democratic Republic of the Congo primary energy demand and GDP in the Africa Case

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    Democratic Republic of the Congo primary energy demand and GDP in the Stated Policies Scenario, 2010-2040

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    In the AC, Democratic Republic of the Congo supports an economy six-times larger than today’s with only 35% more energy by diversifying its energy mix away from one that is 95% dependent on bioenergy. 

    The power sector sees more growth than any other sector; a big increase in the use of hydropower leads to its share of the overall energy mix increasing to 23% in the AC.

    Democratic Republic of the Congo electricity generation by technology in the Africa Case, 2010-2040

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    Democratic Republic of the Congo electricity generation by technology in the Stated Policies Scenario, 2010-2040

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    Almost all electricity generation today comes from hydropower and the Inga project has the potential to provide much more. If network constraints are addressed, Democratic Republic of the Congo could become an electricity exporter.

    In the AC, Phase 5 of the Inga project enables Democratic Republic of the Congo to meet an eleven-fold increase in electricity demand; this increase is the result of achieving full access to electricity and of the growing electrification of productive uses.

    Electricity final energy consumption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by scenario, 2018-2040

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    Fossil fuel final energy consumption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by scenario, 2018-2040

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    Oil use in industry increases significantly in the AC with manufacturing and mining chiefly responsible for this growth.

    Electricity consumption is low today but is set to increase significantly in the AC as household incomes rise, access to electricity improves and mining activities increase.

    Weo2019 Drc

    Less than 10% of the population has access to electricity today, making Democratic Republic of the Congo the country with the largest number of people without access in Africa after Nigeria.

    Mini-grids account for more than half of all new connections in the AC.

    Democratic Republic of the Congo fuels and technologies used for cooking by scenario, 2018-2030

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    Given the availability of fuelwood in rural areas and the affordability of charcoal in urban areas, almost all people cook with traditional stoves in 2030 in the STEPS.

    In the AC, improved cookstoves are the preferred option to provide clean cooking access in both urban and rural areas. In parallel, kilns for making charcoal are improved to increase their efficiency.


    Democratic Republic of the Congo coal demand and production by scenario, 2010-2040

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    Democratic Republic of the Congo oil demand and production by scenario, 2010-2040

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    Democratic Republic of the Congo gas demand and production by scenario, 2010-2040

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    Fossil fuel consumption is at a low level, but growing, and almost reliant on imports in both scenarios. Further industrial development depends on a large increase in imports.

    Democratic Republic of the Congo is a major producer of minerals. It accounts for almost two-thirds of global cobalt production; this gives it a crucial role in global clean energy transitions.

    Democratic Republic of the Congo cumulative investment needs, 2019-2040

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    The AC requires a quadrupling of investment compared with the STEPS, with emphasis on renewables, power networks and access to electricity and clean cooking.

    Investment opportunities in the AC are likely to be realised only if sound structures to regulate the sector and manage revenues from mineral production are in place.


    Cobalt mining activities will drive an increase in electricity demand. Meeting this through renewable hydropower would help to develop low-carbon electricity for Democratic Republic of the Congo and a low-carbon value chain for the global electric vehicle fleet.

    Given the country’s dispersed population centres, decentralised solutions offer the lowest cost way to overcome grid limitations and provide electricity access to the huge share of the population currently without it.

    Increased regional co-operation could help realise the potential of Inga, which has the potential to provide large quantities of reliable low-carbon electricity to Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbours.