Chad’s Energy Conundrum

The population of the Republic of Chad is approximately 16.49 million people[1]. In 2016, only 8.8% of the people in this north-central African country have access to electricity[2].

In 2018, Chad’s economy was ranked 140th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is heavily dependent on the export of oil 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 2017, Chad had only 31 MW of installed electric generation capacity[4], which was fueled solely by refined oil products (diesel, gasoline, etc.). In July 2020, the government initiated the “Solar Energy Project for Rural Development in Chad,” which is designed to provide reliable electricity to people in rural areas of the country.

In August 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.

Chad has significant solar, wind, and biomass renewable energy resources, which if developed could provide electricity to everyone in the country. However, it will take significant capital investment to develop the country’s renewable energy potential with a reliable power grid.

Chad’s economy is heavily dependent on oil exports and over the past twelve months the price of crude oil has fallen over 25 percent.[5] Chad will need international financial assistance if it is going to develop the country’s renewable energy resources and power grid, while meeting greenhouse gas reduction commitments.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”






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

[2] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Chad

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

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

[5] Rigzone, Commodity Prices – Crude Oils

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