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Regional insight – Africa

Africa’s net exports fall significantly even as production rises, due to its own consumption growing strongly; renewables become the largest source of power generation in 2040



Growth in African energy consumption


Share of global energy consumption in 2040

54% increase

Growth in African energy production

The share of renewables in the African fuel mix grows from 1% today to 16% by 2040.
Electricity demand almost triples with renewables becoming the largest source of power generation by 2040.
African energy production as a share of consumption declines from 176% in 2017 to 119% by 2040.



  • Energy consumption grows by 3.6% p.a. with energy use in power generation growing by 4.4% p.a. Growth accelerates markedly compared with the previous 20 years (+2.8% p.a.).
  • Consumption growth is strong across all sectors: buildings (+149%), industry and non-combusted uses (+139% each) and transport (+85%).
  • By fuel and on a Mtoe basis, gas (+167 Mtoe), renewables (+156 Mtoe) and oil (+149 Mtoe) grow the most over the outlook.
  • Oil remains the leading fuel, accounting for 34% of African energy consumption by 2040, down from 44% today. Renewables (16% in 2040) gain considerable market share while coal loses significant share, accounting for 13% of energy use in 2040, down from 21% in 2017.
  • Electricity demand almost triples by 2040, to reach 2306 TWh. In 2040 renewables have the largest share in the electricity generation mix (32%) followed by gas (30%) and coal and hydro (16% each).
  • Renewables surpass coal as the second largest source of power generation (by fuel input) around 2030.
  • Domestic energy production increases by 54%, driven by natural gas (+109%), renewables (+2795%) and coal (+36%) more than offsetting the decline in oil (-12%).
  • Africa remains an important oil producer of oil and becomes an increasingly important producer of gas. Oil production decreases by 1 Mb/d over the outlook to reach 7 Mb/d by 2040. Natural gas production increases by 245 Bcm to 470 Bcm in 2040.
  • Energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of GDP) declines by 12% over the outlook, half the decline seen over 1995-2017 (-27%) and about a third of the global decline over the period to 2040 (-36%).
  • High energy consumption combined with a large share of fossil fuels drive the increase in CO2 emissions from energy use of 77% by 2040. Per capita CO2 emissions by 2040 remain a small fraction (27%) of the global average.
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