Solar Is Electrifying Chad

The population of the Republic of Chad is approximately 16.49 million people[1]. Only 5% of the people in this north-central African country have access to electricity[2].  In 2017, Chad had only 31 MW of installed electric generation capacity[3], which was fueled by refined oil products (diesel, gasoline, etc.).

Low-quality crude oil was first discovered in Chad in the late 1960s. However, oil was not exported from the country until 2003. Chad’s economy is now heavily dependent on oil exports and agriculture.

In 2016, Chad signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to an unconditional pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 18.2% by 2030, compared to a business-as-usual scenario, or a 71% reduction by 2030, conditional upon international support.

In July 2020, the National Electricity Company of Chad began work on a solar photovoltaic power plant approximately 30 miles southeast of the country’s capital, N’Djamena. The solar power plant will provide electricity to over 6,000 homes in the region.

The construction of the new solar power plant represents the first phase of the country’s “Solar Energy Project for Rural Development in Chad,” which is designed to provide reliable electricity to people in rural areas of the country. Financing for this project will come from the Islamic Development Bank and the Kingdom of Morocco.

Chad’s energy demands are expected to grow significantly with the development of the country’s power grid. The country’s economy is still heavily dependent on oil exports. Chad is facing an almost insurmountable challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining oil exports and developing the country’s power grid.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


[1] Chad Population (2020) –  August 22, 2020

[2] Britannia – Republic of Chad, August 19, 2020

[3] U.S. Energy Information Agency – Republic of Chad 2017

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