Ghana energy supply
Ghana energy supply

Policies are being put in place in many countries in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) aimed at expanding domestic energy provision, but the current state of the region?s energy system is a major threat to the region?s economic hopes, according to a study.

off-grid energy

The study, ?Energy in Sub Saharan Africa Today? is part of the World Energy Outlook 2014, which was published by the International Energy Agency and circulated to the media including GNA.
It observed that the energy demand in SSA grew by around 45 percent from 2000 to 2012, but accounts for only four percent of global demand despite being home to 13 percent of the global population.
The region?s largest energy demand centres are Nigeria and South Africa, which together account for more than 40 percent of total energy demand.
It noted access to modern energy services, though increasing, remains very limited. Despite many positive efforts, more than 620 million people in SSA are without access to electricity.
Nearly 730 million people rely on the traditional use of solid biomass for cooking. Each year nearly 600, 000 premature deaths in Africa can be attributed to household air pollution resulting from the traditional use of solid fuels, such as fuelwood and charcoal.
The study said bio-energy, mostly fuelwood and charcoal, accounted for more than 60 percent of energy demand. Despite rising incomes, bio-energy consumption continues to rise: its growth since 2000 has been greater than that of all other fuels combined.

Coal makes up 18 percent of total energy demand in 2012, followed by oil, 15 percent, and natural gas, four percent.

Modern renewables account for less than two percent but they have also grown significantly in recent years.
On-grid power generation capacity was 90 GW in 2012, with around half being in South Africa. 45 percent of this capacity is coal (mainly South Africa), 22 percent hydro, 17 percent oil (both more evenly spread) and 14 percent gas (mainly Nigeria).
It said insufficient, unreliable or inaccessible grid supply has resulted in large-scale private ownership of oil-fueled generators and greater focus on developing mini- and off-grid power systems.

Renewable-based capacity is growing rapidly but from a very low base.
Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in energy resources. Huge renewable resources remain untapped; excellent solar across all of Africa, hydro in many countries, wind mainly in coastal areas and geothermal in the East African Rift Valley.
In the last five years, nearly 30 percent of world oil and gas discoveries were made in SSA; but the challenge to turn these discoveries into production and the resulting revenue into public benefits is formidable.
Oil resources are being developed, with production of 5.7 mb/d of crude oil in 2013, primarily in Nigeria and Angola. Natural gas use of 27 bcm in 2012 is similar both to the volume that was exported and to the volume flared.

Coal production (nearly 220 Mtce in 2012) is concentrated in South Africa; and the region accounts for 18 percent of world uranium supply.
Low incomes, inefficient and costly forms of energy supply, make energy affordability a critical issue.

Electricity tariffs are often very high by world standards, despite often being held below the cost of supply.

Oil products are subsidised in many oil-producing countries. Where subsidies exist, they are often designed to support energy access for the poor, but they are frequently not well targeted.



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