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Regional insight – Africa

Published:
14 March 2022
Under all three scenarios Africa’s demand for electricity increases significantly, more than tripling in Net Zero and Accelerated; renewables become the dominant energy source in total primary energy by 2050

Highlights

39% to 95%

growth in primary energy in 2019-2050 under all scenarios

 

1% to 12%

share of coal in primary energy in 2050

43% to 69%

share of renewables in primary energy in 2050

48% to -73%

net change in CO₂ emissions by 2050

The share of electricity in Africa’s total final consumption of energy increases from 10% today to 20% in New Momentum, almost 40% in Accelerated and more than 50% in Net Zero
 
The share of wind and solar in electricity generation grows from 3% today to more than 70% in Accelerated and Net Zero

Natural gas production increases only in New Momentum to reach 10% of total global production from 6% today

Projections

  • Africa’s economy grows at a rate of 3.0% a year in 2019-2050, down from 4.3% a year over the past 20 years.
  • Primary energy consumption increases in all three scenarios, primarily reflecting increase in prosperity as measured by GDP per head and population.
  • The share of renewables in electricity generation increases sharply in all three scenarios, driven by wind and solar.
  • Wind and solar used in electricity generation increase from almost zero today to 3 EJ, 10 EJ and 11 EJ in 2050 in New Momentum, Accelerated and Net Zero, respectively.
  • Oil’s share in Africa’s fuel mix declines under all scenarios, falling from 25% today to 15% in Accelerated, 9% in Net Zero and 20% in 2050 in New Momentum.
  • The share of natural gas consumption in total primary energy decreases in Accelerated and Net Zero to 13% and 7% respectively and increases to 20% in New Momentum by 2050 from 16% today.
  • Coal’s share in the primary energy mix drops in Accelerated and Net Zero, to 2% and 1% respectively by 2050 from 13% today. Coal production decreases from 7 EJ today to 3 EJ in 2050 in New Momentum and to almost zero in the other scenarios.
  • Production of oil declines in all scenarios in Africa. Oil production decreases sharply from 9 Mb/d today to 2 Mb/d in Accelerated and 4 Mb/d in New Momentum.
  • Net CO₂ emissions increase by 48% in New Momentum, due to the relatively high share of fossil fuels in the energy mix in this scenario. However, in Net Zero, net emissions decrease by 73% and by 33% in Accelerated.