Geographies in Depth

This is the state of renewable energy in Africa right now

row of solar panels renewable energy in Africa

Statista shares new data, charting the rise of renewable energy in Africa Image: REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

Martin Armstrong
Data Journalist, Statista
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Decarbonizing Energy

  • In 2020, 9% of all energy generated in Africa came from renewable sources, reports Statista.
  • North Africa is the current leader on the continent in terms of renewable energy capacity.
  • While Southern Africa is lagging behind, with just over 4,000 MW capacity.
  • When all under-construction projects are completed, Central Africa's capacity is set to more than double.

In 2020, 9 percent of all energy generated in Africa came from renewable sources, with a strong reliance (6.8 percent) on hydropower. The report by PricewaterhouseCoopers does however indicate that progress is being made in this area. From 2019 to 2020 alone, solar and wind capacity increased by 13 percent and 11 percent, respectively, while hydropower soared 25 percent. "Total installed renewable energy capacity in Africa has grown by over 24 GW since 2013". Looking further forward, forecasts to 2050 predict an extra 27.3 exajoules (EJ) compared to the current 1.8 EJ.

Surging renewable energy in Africa

Growth in the near future is "led by solar and wind projects in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Ethiopia". Indeed, as this infographic illustrates, North Africa is the current leader on the continent in terms of renewable energy capacity, and is likely to stay in this position when factoring in the capacity currently under construction. The largest increase when all under construction projects are completed will be seen in Central Africa, where the capacity is set to more than double. West Africa, on the other hand, has very little in the way of new capacity around the corner, with just 100 MW under construction at the time of publication, compared to the 15,201 in Central Africa, for example.


What's the World Economic Forum doing about the transition to clean energy?

Chart showing renewable energy in Africa
Central states log the largest increase in the generation of renewable energy in Africa Image: Statista
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Related topics:
Geographies in DepthSustainable DevelopmentEnergy Transition
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