Solar Is Transforming Benin

Country Overview

The Republic of Benin (Benin) is bordered by the countries of Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo, and the Atlantic Ocean. The population of Benin is approximately 13.71 million people.

In 2022, Benin’s economy was ranked 130th  in the world in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is based on the export of gold, raw cotton, coconuts, cashews, and oil seeds.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Benin signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a maintain greenhouse gas emissions below 120 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent from 2020 to 2030, compared to business as usual.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, only 42.0% of the people in Benin had access to electricity. In 2021, power companies used refined petroleum (95.8 %) and renewable energy (4.2%)  to generate electricity in Benin. Solar is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Benin.

Recent renewable energy projects in Benin include:

  • 50 MW Solar Project – French engineering firm, Eiffage is continuing work on the Illoulofin solar project at a site approximately 200 miles north of the nation’s capital, Porto-Novo. The project is forecast to be completed by year-end 2023.
  • Solar Home Systems – French utility Engie is continuing work deploying solar panels plus batteries on a pay-as-you-go at a rate of U.S. $0.20 per day across Benin. The program will provide access to electricity to over 640,000 people in Benin.


Benin imports refined petroleum for power generation and transportation. In 2021, Benin imported U.S.$ 1i2 Million of 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.

Benin has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, wind, and biomass. Solar is helping Benin withstand the shock of volatile oil prices. Solar is beginning to transform Benin.

Jack Kerfoot

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.

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