New Atlas of Africa Energy Resources shows the energy situation, needs and potentials of Africa, highlighting the opportunities and challenges for a sustainable development of the energy resources on the continent. In addition to detailed analysis, it features over 64 maps and 73 satellite images as well as some 50 graphics and hundreds of compelling photos.

Some of the findings include:

  • Energy consumption in Africa is the lowest in the world (with 16% of the world’s population it consumes about 3.3% of global primary energy) and per capita consumption has barely changed since 2000;
  • If current trends continue, it would take Africa until 2080 to achieve full access to electricity;
  • Africa’s renewable energy resources are diverse, unevenly distributed and enormous in quantity — almost unlimited solar potential (10 TW), abundant hydro (350 GW), wind (110 GW) and geothermal energy sources (15 GW);
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has undiscovered, but technically recoverable, energy resources estimated at about 115.34 billion barrels of oil and 21.05 trillion cubic metres of gas;
  • Of all energy sources, Africa consumes most oil (42% of its total energy consumption) followed by gas (28%), coal (22 %), hydro (6%), renewable energy (1%) and nuclear (1%);
  • Nearly 60% of refrigerators used in health clinics in Africa have unreliable electricity, compromising the safe storage of vaccines and medicines; half of vaccines are ruined due to lack of refrigeration;
  • Energy from biomass accounts for more than 30% of the energy consumed in Africa and more than 80% in many sub-Saharan African countries. Indoor pollution from biomass cooking — a task usually carried out by women — will soon kill more people than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined.
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