- The African Energy Chamber has said that oil and gas will play along term role in Africa’s electricity mix.
- About 75% of the power generated in Africa between 2022 and 2023 is estimated to be generated using oil, gas and coal.
- If Africa were to triple its production of natural gas from current levels, its contribution to global emissions would only rise by 0.67%.
Oil and gas are expected to play a long-term role in Africa’s electricity mix. This is according to the African Energy Chamber. In its Q1/2023 State of African Energy report, the Chamber stated that Africa is currently heavily dependent on fossil fuels for power generation.
According to the Chamber, about 75% of the power generated in Africa between 2022 and 2023, is estimated to be generated using oil, gas and coal. The report stated:
- “A cumulative 60% of the power generated in 2030 is expected to be from fossil fuels with oil and gas generating about 40%. Even 2040 forecast suggests close to 37% of the power generated will be using oil, gas and coal with coal still playing a 9% role and natural gas accounting for over a quarter of the power generation.”
Any cause for concern?
Should energy transition crusaders be worried about this projection? Energy access deficits are not a secret and there is a need to tackle the challenge. According to the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Africa must have natural gas to complement its renewable energy.
He maintained that even if Africa were to triple its production of natural gas from current levels, its contribution to global emissions would only rise by 0.67%. Speaking on the sidelines of the COP 27 conferences in Egypt, Dr. Adesina said:
- “Natural gas is needed to balance out the electricity supply given the intermittent nature of renewables. We must recognize the special nature of Africa. Africa has the highest level of energy poverty in the world. My interest is how Africa uses natural gas as part of its energy mix to provide electricity for 600 million people today that don’t have access to electricity”.
What is important at the end of the day?
Reducing emissions! At the just concluded UAE Climate Tech conference, COP 28 President and UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, called on global stakeholders to work towards reducing emissions, not energy access.
- According to Dr. Al Jaber, global stakeholders need to leverage climate technologies to build a new economic development model based on putting an end to emissions, while breathing new life into economic growth.
- Al Jaber believes the world can still use hydrocarbons, and at the same time, all countries must do everything in their power to reduce and eventually eliminate the carbon intensity of that energy.
Wow…talk about not seeing the forest for the trees…
Renewable energy sources are becoming more cost-effective than traditional hydrocarbons for generating electricity at lightning speed across Africa, while hydrocarbons are becoming costlier from an economic and political standpoint. This rate of transition will probably be faster than currently estimated.
But, maybe this is nothing new. I can imagine horse breeders laughing at the notion of “horseless carriages” completely displacing their industry in the early 1900s, or landline telephone operators rolling their eyes at the idea of a quick roll out of cell phones in Africa in the late 90s.