Cameroon Is Investing Heavily In Renewable Energy

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Cameroon is approximately 27.14 million people[1]. In 2018, 62.7% of the people in this West African country had access to electricity[2].

In 2019, Cameroon’s economy was ranked 95th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is dependent[4] on the export of crude oil, cocoa beans, wood, gold, and natural gas.

Environment Policies

In 2009, Cameroon launched Vision 2035, which outlined specific efforts to increase electricity production, develop renewable energy resources, intensify oil exploration, and modernize the power grid.

In 2016, Cameroon signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5] and committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2035 compared to business-as-usual levels and conditional on international support.

In 2020, Cameroon’s utilities used renewable energy (56.2%), oil (26.3%), and natural gas (17.5%) to generate electricity[6]. Hydropower is the dominant source of renewable energy in Cameroon.

Recent renewable energy projects in Cameroon include:

  • 10 MW Solar Project – In January 2021, the joint venture renewable energy, Maroua Guider Solar Company commenced work on the Guider solar project, which is located approximately 550 northeast of the nation’s capital, Yaoundé. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2021.
  • 15 MW Solar Project – In January 2021, the Maroua Guider Solar Company commenced work on the Maroua solar project, which is located approximately 650 northeast of Yaoundé. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2021.
  • 420 MW Hydropower Project – Nachtigal Hydro Power Company, a joint venture between the French utility, EDF and the government of Cameroon are continuing work on a major hydropower project, which is located approximately 40 miles northeast of Yaoundé on the Sanaga River. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2023.
  • 600 MW Hydropower Project – In May 2021, the governments of Cameroon and Congo selected the China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) to build the hydroelectric project on the Dja River, which flows through the two countries. CGGC is scheduled to begin construction is 2025.


Commercial oil was first discovered in Cameroon in 1977[7]. In 2020, Cameroon produced approximately 23.7 million barrels of oil[8].

The export of oil is very significant to Cameroon’s economy. Why is Cameroon investing in renewable energy? Economics pure and simple.

Cameroon has vast renewable energy resources including hydropower, solar, wind, and biomass. The country’s investment in renewable energy has little to do with the country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Cameroon’s move to renewable energy is being driven by the economics of preserving the nation’s most valuable export – oil.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

[1] Cameroon Population (2021) –  May 11, 2021

[2] Cameroon – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Cameroon

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

[6] Status of Renewable Energy in Cameroon by D. K. Kidmo, K. Deli, and B. Bogno, 17 February 2021

[7] Hydrocarbons in Cameroon – Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures

[8] Cameroon Crude Oil Production – U.S. Energy Information Agency

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