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Regional insight – Africa

Significant increase in domestic consumption leads to decline in net exports; renewables become the dominant energy source in power generation by 2050


107% to 142%

Increase in primary energy 2020-2050


0.2% to 3.8%

Share of global hydrogen consumption in 2050

42% to 67%

Share of renewables in power generation by 2050

Under all three scenarios, African electricity demand more than triples by 2050, with renewables accounting for the largest share in power generation
The share of renewables in primary energy grows from 2% today to 41% in Rapid, 61% in Net Zero and 22% in BAU 
Natural gas production as a share of global production reaches 13% in Rapid and 11% in BAU by 2050, from 6% today


  • Africa's economy grows at a rate of 3.3% per annum 2018-2050, down from 3.8% 1990-2018.
  • Primary energy consumption in Africa increases in all three scenarios, primarily reflecting increase in prosperity as measured by GDP per head and population.
  • At the same time, renewables’ share of the primary energy mix increases sharply, reaching 41%, 61% and 22% in Rapid, Net Zero and Business-as-usual (BAU) respectively.
  • Renewables are driven by wind and solar, increasing from almost zero today to 15 EJ, 20 EJ and 10 EJ in 2050 in Rapid, Net Zero and BAU respectively.
  • Oil’s share of Africa’s fuel mix declines sharply under all scenarios, falling from 42% today to 17% in Rapid, 9% in Net Zero and 28% in 2050 in BAU.
  • The share of natural gas consumption in total primary energy remains stable under Rapid and BAU at 28% and decreases to 15% in Net Zero by 2050 from 28% today.
  • Conversely, coal’s share in the primary energy mix decreases markedly under Rapid and Net Zero, to 2% and 1% respectively by 2050. African coal production decreases from 7 EJ today to 3 EJ in 2050 in both Rapid and BAU.
  • Production of oil declines across all scenarios in Africa. Oil production decreases sharply from 8 Mb/d today to 2 Mb/d in Rapid and 7 Mb/d in BAU.
  • Natural gas consumption more than doubles from 236 Bcm in 2018 to almost 500 Bcm in Rapid and more than 550 Bcm in BAU.
  • Net CO2 emissions increase by 73% in BAU, due to the relatively high share of fossil fuels in the energy mix in this scenario. However, in Net Zero, net emissions decrease by 77% and by 14% under Rapid.