Africa’s primary energy consumption grew by 1.2% in 2016 - slower than its 10-year average of 2.8%, but still faster than the global average of 1.0%

Fast facts

  1. Africa’s share in global primary energy consumption reached 3.3% - the highest in our records.
  2. Africa’s oil production fell by 0.4 Mb/d (-4.9%) in 2016 led by a decline in Nigeria, to reach a 15-year low.
  3. Africa remains a key net energy exporter accounting for 8% of global gas exports and 10% of global oil exports.

+1.2% Growth in Africa’s energy consumption

3.3% Africa’s share of global energy consumption

-3.0% Decline in Africa’s energy production

  • Africa’s primary energy consumption grew by 1.2% in 2016 - below the 10-year average (+2.8%) and slower than the 1.3% growth seen in 2015.
  • 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 1.2% in 2016, with oil (+1.5%), natural gas (+1.4%) and coal (+0.4%) growing at below average rates. Non-fossil fuel consumption rose by 1.3%, with a decline in hydro (-4.3%) offset by rapid growth of nuclear (+30%) and renewables in power (+18%).
  • Energy consumption grew by about half the rate of GDP (2.1%) resulting in a 0.9% decline in energy intensity (the amount of energy used per unit of GDP). This was a smaller decline than the 10-year average annual decline of 1.5%.
  • Africa’s CO2 emissions from energy use increased by 1.1% in 2016. The region accounted for 3.6% of global emissions.
  • The region’s electricity generation grew by 2.2% in 2016, below the 10-year average of 2.8%. Non-fossil fuels accounted for 19% of total generation in Africa - well below the global average of 34%.
  • Oil production declined sharply in 2016 (-0.4 Mb/d or -4.9%) to 7.9 Mb/d. Most countries in the region saw their oil production falling last year, led by a 0.3 Mb/d decline in Nigeria. The region’s share of global oil production fell to 8.6% - the lowest since 1982.
  • Natural gas production declined by 1.1% (-2 Bcm), while coal output fell 1.0%. Overall, Africa’s energy production fell by 2.7% - the fourth consecutive year of falling energy production.
  • Africa’s oil exports fell by 0.45 Mb/d to 6.2 Mb/d, which is 26% below the 2007 peak. Exports of natural gas rose by 8.3% (+7.2 Bcm).
  • South Africa is the world’s seventh largest coal producer and accounts for 95% of Africa’s and 3.9% of global coal production.

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