Renewable Energy Are Critical For DR Congo’s Future

The population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) is approximately 89,99 million people[1]. In 2019, only 18.9% of the people in this central Sub-Sahara African country had access to electricity[2].

DR Congo’s economy is ranked 39th among the forty-seven countries in Sub-Sahara Africa[3]. The country’s economy is heavily dependent on the export of minerals including cooper, cobalt, gold, and diamonds.

In 2018, the state power company, Société Nationale D’électricité used renewable energy (99.8%) and petroleum (0.2%) to generate electricity in the DR Congo[4]. Hydropower is the dominant source of renewable energy in the country.

In 2016, DR Congo signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a business-as-usual scenario by 2030. The country’s commitment is contingent on receiving international support, estimated to be US $12.54 billion.

In August 2020, DR Congo President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo laid the foundation stone to formerly begin construction on a massive solar project. The first phase of the project will be the construction of a 600 MW solar park, located approximately 15 miles east of the country’s capital, Kinshasa.

The entire solar project will have a total capacity of 1,000 MW and will dramatically improve the power supply in Kinshasa. The 1,000 MW solar project is estimated to cost US $1.0 billion.

The DR Congo’s has significant, undeveloped solar, hydropower, wind, and geothermal energy potential. The country’s renewable energy resources could provide electricity to everyone in the nation. The development of the 1,000 MW solar project is the first tangible step the DR Congo has taken to harness the country’s enormous renewable energy potential.

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

[1] DR Congo Population (2020) –  September 2, 2020 www.worldometers.info

[2] Energypedia – DR Congo, March 23, 2020

[3] The Heritage Foundation – DR Congo

[4] “Democratic Republic of the Congo Energy Situation” – Energypedia, March 23, 2020

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

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