Renewable Energy Is Booming In Gabon

National Economy

The Gabonese Republic (Gabon) in West Africa is bordered by Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, and the Gulf of Guinea. The population of Gabon is approximately 2.37 million people[1].

In 2022, Gabon’s economy was ranked 119th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[2]. The country’s economy is dependent[3] on the export of crude oil, manganese ore, sawn wood, veneer sheets, and refined petroleum.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Gabon signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared to business as usual.

In 2020, the government of Gabon set a goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in its electricity mix to 80% by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2020, 91.6 % of the people in Gabon had  access to electricity[5]. In 2021, the state-owned utility, Energy and Water Company of Gabon used oil (55.5%) and renewable energy (44.5%) and to generate electricity in the country[6]. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Gabon.

Recent renewable energy projects in Gabon include:

  • 120 MW Solar Project –S. solar company, Solen Energy is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 18 miles northeast of the nation’s capital, Libreville. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In December 2023, French energy company Total Eren commissioned a solar project near Libreville.
  • 35 MW Hydropower Project – Asonha Energie, a joint venture between French investment company, Meridiam and the Gabon Power Company is continuing work on the Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric power project, which is located approximately 62 miles east of Libreville. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2025.
  • 20 MW Solar Project – Turkish renewable energy company Desiba Energy is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 125 miles southeast of Libreville. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year end 2023.

Conclusions

Oil was first discovered in Gabon in 1931[7]. In 2021, Gabon was the 24th largest crude oil[8] exporting country in the world.

Oil is a major component of Gabon’s  economy. In 2021, Gabon exported U.S. $3.61 Billion in crude oil and U.S. $128 Million in refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Gabon has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources including hydropower, solar, onshore wind, biomass, and offshore wind. Development of Gabon’s renewable energy resources are providing clean, low-cost electricity to the people is this beautiful country.

The rise in the global crude oil prices has provided Gabon funding to develop new renewable energy projects. Oil exports are funding Gabon’s renewable energy boom.

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

 

 

[1] Gabon Population (2023) –  April 16, 2023, www.worldometers.info

[2] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

[3] The Observatory of Economic Complexity – Gabon

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

[5] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Gabon

[6] Our World In Data, Gabon:  Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] The Energy Year: Gabon Overview

[8] Crude Oil Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

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