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Regional insight – Africa

Primary energy demand continued to increase with strong natural gas and coal growth. Renewables grew strongly but at a slower pace than in the previous 10 years

Fast facts

1    Natural gas production increased 4.8% reaching 237 Bcm, the highest on record and 6% of global total

 

2    Electricity demand increased by 2.9% in 2018, slightly below its 10-year average (+3.1%), and slower than the global electricity growth of 3.7%

 

3    Renewables grew by 18.5%, driven by solar (37%) and wind (15%). However, renewables’ share in the energy mix in 2018 was only 1.6%

+2.9% – Growth in African energy consumption
Growth in Africa’s energy consumption
+18.5% – Growth in renewables used in power generation
Growth in renewables used in power generation
+4.8% – Growth in African natural gas production
Growth in African natural gas production
+2.4% – Growth in CO2 emissions
Growth in CO2 emissions

At a glance

  • Energy consumption accelerated slightly in 2018, growing by 2.9%, compared with the 10-year average growth (+2.7%). 
  • Consumption growth was strong across all the main fuels in the energy mix, except oil (-0.4%): natural gas (+6.6%), coal (+3.9%), hydro (+6.6%). 
  • Gas and coal together contributed 91% of incremental energy demand. Oil remained the leading fuel, accounting for 41% of African energy consumption in 2018, down from 43% in 2008. Natural gas accounted for 28%, up from 22% in 2008.
  • Coal demand growth (+3.9%) was much stronger in 2018 compared with the average growth of the past 10 years (+0.6%). However, coal’s share in energy dropped from 28% in 2008 to 22% in 2018.
  • Renewables gained market share over the past 10 years, accounting for 1.6% of energy consumption in 2018, up from just 0.3% in 2008. 
  • Hydro grew strongly in 2018 (+6.6%) and increased its share by 0.2pp, reaching 6.5%. 
  • Electricity demand increased at a slightly lower pace in 2018 (+2.9%) compared with the average of the past 10 years (+3.1%). 
  • Gas had the largest share in the electricity generation mix (40%) followed by coal (30%) and hydro (16%). 
  • Africa remained an important producer of oil (9% of global production) and an increasingly important producer of gas (6% of global production) in 2018. 
  • Natural gas production increased by 4.8%, reaching 237 Bcm in 2018, compared with 1.4% average growth over the past 10 years. Oil production increased by 0.7% in 2018 to reach 8.2 Mb/d. 
  • Energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of GDP) continued to decrease (-0.4%) in 2018, but at a slower pace when compared with -1.0% average decline seen over 2007-2017. 
  • Net CO2 emissions from energy use rose by 2.4%, higher than both the 10-year average (2.3%) and global CO2 emissions growth in 2018 (+2%).