Oil Exports Funding Equatorial Guinea’s Renewable Energy Growth

Country Overview

The West Africa country of Equatorial Guinea is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Cameron, and Gabon. The population of Equatorial Guinea is approximately 1.74 million people.

In 2022, Equatorial Guinea’s economy was ranked 140th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of crude oil, natural gas, acyclic alcohols, rough wood, and veneer sheets.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Equatorial Guinea signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 2010 levels. The nation also committed to a long-term goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 66.8% of the people in Equatorial Guinea had  access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned utility, Sociedad de Electricidad de Guinea Ecuatorial used refined petroleum (69.0%) and renewable energy (31.0%) to generate electricity in Equatorial Guinea. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in the nation.

Recent renewable energy projects in Equatorial Guinea include:

  • 200 MW Hydropower Project – Equatorial Guinea’s National Office of Planning and Monitoring of Projects is leading the on-going develop of the Sendje Hydropower Plant on the Wele River in the eastern region of Equatorial Guinea.
  • 120 MW Hydropower Project – In October 2012, People’s Republic of China company Sinohydro completed the construction of the Djiploho Hydropower Plant on the Wele River in the eastern region of Equatorial Guinea.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – United Arab Emirates (UAE) renewable energy company, Masdar has announced plans to build a utility scale solar project near the coastal town of Bata.


The first major oil discovery in Equatorial Guinea was made in 1995 by Mobil Oil, now ExxonMobil. In 2022, Equatorial Guinea was the28th largest natural gas and  29th largest crude oil and exporting country in the world.

Oil is a major and natural gas exports are a dominant component of Equatorial Guinea’s economy. In 2021, Equatorial Guinea exported U.S. $2.78 Billion of crude oil and U.S. $1.26 Billion of natural gas.

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.

Equatorial has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources including hydropower, solar, onshore wind, biomass, and offshore wind. The export of oil and natural gas is now funding Equatorial Guinea’s development of new renewable energy projects.

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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