In 2022, Angola was ranked 66th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of crude oil, natural gas, diamonds, refined petroleum, asphalt mixtures, and densified wood.
In 2016, Angola signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030, compared to business as usual.
In 2020, Angola began to develop small-scale off-grid renewable technologies to provide electricity to rural areas of the country. The government’s goal is to provide electricity to 60% of the nation by 2025.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, 48.2% of the people in Angola had access to electricity. In 2021, Angola’s state-owned electric company, Empresa de Electricidade de Luanda used renewable energy (71.0%), oil (16.8%), and natural gas (12.2%) to generate electricity in the country. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Angola.
Recent renewable energy projects in Angola include:
- 2,004 MW Hydropower Project – In December 2020, the state-owned electric company, Empresa de Electricidade de Luanda commissioned the Lauca hydropower project on the Cuanza River at a site approximately 125 miles southeast of the nation’s capital, Luanda.
- 370 MW Solar Projects – In January 2023, renewable energy companies, Sun Africa, UTG Renewables, and Hitachi Energy collaborated to commission seven different solar projects, which will provide electricity to towns in the provinces of Namibe, Cuando Cubango, Huila and Cunene.
- 84 MW Wind Project – Empresa de Electricidade de Luanda is continuing work on the onshore Calenga wind project in the province of Huila. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
- 35 MW Solar Project – In December 2022, French power company, Total Eren commissioned a solar project in the province of Huila.
The export of hydrocarbons is a cornerstone of Angola’s economy. In 2021, Angola exported U.S. $27.7 Billion in crude oil, U.S. $3.22 Billion in natural gas, and U.S. $381 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.
Angola has vast undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, onshore wind, offshore wind and biomass. Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Waters estimates the country has undeveloped renewable resource potential of 18,000 MW from hydropower, 16,000 MW from solar, and 3,900 MW from onshore wind.
The rise in the global oil and natural gas prices has provided Angola funding for the development of renewable energy projects that will increase electricity access for the people in the rural regions of the country. Hydrocarbon exports are now funding Angola’s renewable energy boom.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
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.