Africa’s primary energy consumption grew by 1.6% in 2015 - slower than in 2014 but still faster than the global average (1%). Coal consumption fell sharply, but was offset by rapid growth in oil and gas

Fast facts

  1. Africa’s share in global primary energy consumption reached 3.3% - the highest in our records. However, in per capita terms energy consumption remains just 21% of the global average.
  2. Africa’s energy production fell to an 11-year low in 2015 as coal production fell (-4%) and oil output stagnated.
  3. Africa remains a key net energy exporter accounting for 8% of global gas exports and 10% of global oil exports.

+1.6% Growth in Africa’s energy consumption  

3.3% Africa’s share of global energy consumption

-0.3% Decline in Africa’s energy production

  • Africa’s primary energy consumption grew by 1.6% in 2015 - below the 10-year average (2.8%) and slower than the 3.5% seen in 2014.
  • Oil (42% of Africa’s total consumption) remains the leading fuel followed by gas (28%), coal (22%), hydro (6%), renewables in power (1%) and nuclear (1%).
  • Fossil fuel consumption rose by 1.7% in 2015. Above average increases in oil (3.2%) and natural gas (5.5%) were partially offset by a sharp fall in coal demand (-5.4%). Non-fossil fuel consumption rose by 0.6%, with a sharp fall in nuclear (-25.7%) offset by rapid growth of renewables in power (37.9%). 
  • Energy consumption grew by half the rate of GDP (3.2%) resulting in a 1.6% decline in energy intensity (the amount of energy used per unit of GDP). This was a slightly bigger decline than the 10-year average annual decline of 1.4%.
  • Africa’s CO2 emissions from energy use increased by 0.8% in 2015. The region accounted for 3.6% of global emissions.
  • The region’s electricity generation grew by 2.4% in 2015, below the 10-year average of 3.1%. Non-fossil fuels accounted for 19% of total generation in Africa - well below the global average of 34%.
  • Oil production was essentially flat in 2015 at 8.4 mb/d, as rising Angolan production (+110 kb/d) was offset by ongoing supply disruptions in Libya (-70 kb/d) and Nigeria (-40 kb/d). 
  • Natural gas production rose by 1.8% (3.8 bcm), while coal output fell 4% - in line with the global decline in coal production. Overall, Africa’s energy production fell by 0.3% - the third consecutive year of falling energy production. 
  • Africa’s oil exports fell by 120 kb/d to 6.1 mb/d, which is 25% below the 2007 peak. Exports of natural gas dropped by 1.1% (-0.9 bcm).
  • South Africa is the world’s seventh largest coal producer and accounts for 94% of Africa’s coal production.

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