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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

Highlights

107% to 142%

Increase in primary energy 2020-2050

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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
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The share of renewables in primary energy grows from 2% today to 41% in Rapid, 61% in Net Zero and 22% in BAU?
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Natural gas production as a share of global production reaches 13% in Rapid and 11% in BAU by 2050, from 6% today

Projections

  • 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.
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