Solar Booming In DR Congo

Country Overview

The African country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) is bordered by the Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, and the Atlantic Ocean. The population of DR Congo is approximately 104.56 million people.

In 2022, DR Congo’s economy was ranked 85th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of refined copper, cobalt, raw copper, copper ore, crude oil, and tin ores.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, DR Congo signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a business-as-usual scenario by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, only 20.8% of the people in DR Congo had access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned utility, Société Nationale D’électricité used  renewable energy (99.7%) and refined petroleum (0.03%) to generate electricity across the country, Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in the DR Congo.

Recent renewable energy projects in DR Congo include:

  • 1,000 MW Solar Project – Saudi Arabian company, Sun Plus is continuing work on the Kinshasa Solar City at a site approximately 30 miles northeast of the nation’s capital, Kinshasa. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.
  • 133 MW Solar Project – Canadian renewable energy company East African Power is continuing work on a utility scale solar project at a site approximately 500 miles southwest of Kinshasa.
  • 133 MW Solar Project – Canadian renewable energy company East African Power is continuing work on a utility scale solar project at a site approximately 700 miles northeast of Kinshasa.
  • 133 MW Solar Project – Société Nationale D’électricité is continuing permitting work on the Kolwezi Solar Photovoltaic Park at a site approximately 600 miles southeast on Kinshasa. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.
  • 133 MW Solar Project – Société Nationale D’électricité is continuing permitting work on the Likasi Solar Photovoltaic Park at a site approximately 800 miles southeast on Kinshasa. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.

Conclusions

Commercial oil was first discovered in DR Congo in 1957. In 2022, DR Congo was the 40th largest crude oil exporting country in the world.

Oil is a significant component of DR Congo’s economy. In 2021, DR Congo exported U.S. $582 Million of crude oil.

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.

DR Congo has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources including solar, onshore wind, hydropower, offshore wind, biomass, and geothermal. Development of DR Congo’s renewable energy resources would  provide clean, low-cost electricity to everyone is this beautiful country.

Crude oil exports are now funding DR Congo’s new renewable energy projects, which will provide electricity for more people across the country. Crude oil exports are driving the solar boom in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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.

 

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