|| Sub-Saharan Africa
|| 3.8667° N, 11.5167° E
| Total Area (km²) It includes a country's total area, including areas under inland bodies of water and some coastal waterways.
| Population It is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country of asylum, who are generally considered part of the population of their country of origin.
|| 25,876,380 (2019)
| Rural Population (% of total population) It refers to people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the difference between total population and urban population.
|| 43 (2019)
| GDP (current US$) It is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources.
|| 38,760,467,033.39 (2019)
| GDP Per Capita (current US$) It is gross domestic product divided by midyear population
|| 1,497.91 (2019)
| Access to Electricity (% of population) It is the percentage of population with access to electricity.
| Energy Imports Net (% of energy use) It is estimated as energy use less production, both measured in oil equivalents. A negative value indicates that the country is a net exporter. Energy use refers to use of primary energy before transformation to other end-use fuels, which is equal to indigenous production plus imports and stock changes, minus exports and fuels supplied to ships and aircraft engaged in international transport.
|| -28.32 (2014)
| Fossil Fuel Energy Consumption (% of total) It comprises coal, oil, petroleum, and natural gas products.
|| 38.32 (2014)
Cameroon possesses 1.3GW of installed power capacity, based on large-scale hydropower and hydrocarbon plants. To meet increased demand, the government has prioritised new large-scale hydropower and thermal generation plants.
Cameroon has three main grids that are independent of each other: the southern, the eastern and the northern grid. They vary in size: In 2014, the southern grid transmitted 5,698GWh, while the northern 329GWh and the eastern grid only 56GWh.
The transmission (and distribution) grid grew by 15% (30%) between 2010-2014. Nonetheless, the power networks suffers from underinvestment. Distribution losses (31%) and transmission losses (6%) are significant and increased from 2005-2010.
Liberalization process of the energy sector started in the late 1990s. The state-owned utility was privatised in 2001, now called ENEO. In 2011, the generation, transmission and distribution segments were separated; the state run system operator, SONATREL (Société Nationale de Transport d’Electricité) is due to be fully operational in 2018; the framework for independent power producers and small scale distributors outside of ENEO’s concession.
Renewable energy currently contributes less than 1% towards Cameroon’s energy mix.
The government is currently prioritising large-scale hydropower projects. However, Cameroon’s first large-scale wind and solar farms are being developed.
The IEA lists only hydropower as renewable energy sources for Cameroon. 2014: 5068 GWh.
Potential for solar exploitation is good: solar irradiation is around 5kWh/day/m2. The Cellular telecommunications network is currently powered by solar energy. However, there are only 50PV installations.
While the majority of the countrie has insufficient wind potential, in the Northern and littoral region the wind speed is 5-7m/s.
Deforestation is a big issue in Cameroon. ¾ of the country is/was covered by forests: 200,000 hectares/year are used by the majority of the population for cooking and lighting purposes. Only 3,000 are re-forested.
Unknown geothermal potential, however, in extensive areas hot springs are found: Ngaoundéré region, Mt Cameroon region and Manengoumba area with Lake Moundou.
Hydropower potential is 23 GW (second largest in sub-Saharan Africa), 103 TWh/year. Small hydropower (below 1 MW) has a potential of 1.115 TWh: this potential in the eastern and western regions is not yet exploited yet.
Key Problems of the Energy Sector
- Cameroon suffers from outages: approximately ten electrical outages per month, which last an average of two hours each.
- The cost of accessing energy services is perceived as very high by the poor. In the case of domestic gas and kerosene, this cost is still very high in relation to the income level of the rural and peri-urban poor. In the case of electricity, people complain, among other things, of high tariffs and uncertified meters.
- Electrification rates are very low. National average of the household electrification rate is around 23%. In Northern areas estimations are as low as 6%. Furthermore, “figures quoted in numerous Cameroonian and international reports (estimated to be between 48-74%) are misleading as these simply reflect the percentage of the population that live in a population centre that have a connection point to the power network. This is not a measure of the rate of household electrification.”
- Rural electrification plans focus on grid extensions. The national power supplier has the monopoly although small suppliers are allowed (below 100kW in 70% of communities and a maximum of 1MW in rural areas).
- Lack of data: There is limited information on most of the suitable locations for solar, biomass and wind sites.
- Financial support for electrification is very low and rate of implementation of electrification plans is too slow.
Table: Timeframe of the localities in Cameroon to be electrified.
|| Localities electrified
|| Same rate as before in 2001-2012, it will need 75 years
|| More financial support and policy changes are necessary to reach the goal in 25 years
- The lack of standards, particularly adapted to low-income populations, is a constraint on access to basic energy services. In the case of domestic gas, there are problems with the interchangeability of the bottles. In terms of access to electricity, there are no special incentives in Cameroon for the development of local and renewable sources of energy.
Policy Framework, Laws and Regulations
The government has committed to 25% of renewable energy by 2035 as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
A Master Plan for the Development of Renewable Energy in Cameroon is currently being developed. Electrification rates should increase to 54% for households and to 85% of the population centres in 2035 (31% in 2014). Policy changes and additional funding is required.
The PDER 2016 depicts a grid extension plan, with smaller role for mini-grids in the short to medium term. “The PDER foresees the development of 12 mini-grids powered by hydro with a combined capacity of 24.5MW, 7 mini-grids powered by biomass plants with a combined capacity of 2.5MW and 8 mini-grids powered by hybrid solar and diesel systems with a combined capacity of 550kW.”
Costs are estimated to be FCFA 559 billion (EUR 850 million) for grid extensions and FCFA 154 billion (EUR 235 million) for 27 mini-grids.
The energy sector is seen to attract investment in order to reach the goals of the Energy Sector Development Plan (PDSE 2030) and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The rural electrification master plan focuses on extensions of grids, regional grids and also to isolated diesel and hydro power plans.
However, there is no law dedicated directly to the renewable energy sector.
- The law for the power sector (2011) considers renewable energy sources. “It gives certain priorities to decentralized renewable energy production. For example, it establishes the obligation for the power utility to buy power surplus from small-scale renewable energy producers and foresees fiscal incentives and tax exemptions to renewable energy products and services.”
There is no feed-in-tariff framework or revenue-based incentive mechanism for renewable energy.
- Only support mechanisms are import duties and VAT.
- There are plans to develop a framework to include small scale producers and distributors.
Institutional Set up in the Energy Sector
Ministry of Water Resources and Energy (MINEE)
- implementing national energy policy
- Within the MINEE, the Department of Renewable Energy and Energy Management (DERME) is mandated to support the development of renewable energy including the conception of policies and strategies, the identification of renewable energy resources, the transfer of technologies and the promotion of renewable energy within the country.
ARSEL (L'Agence de Régulation du Secteur de l’Electricité), the electricity regulatory agency
- responsible for the regulation, control and monitoring of the activities of the operators in the electricity sector.
The Electricity Development Corporation (EDC), a public institution
- responsible to operate and manage publicly owned electricity infrastructures, support and implement infrastructure projects and participate in the development and promotion of private and public investments in the electricity sector.
ENEO, the national utility
- responsible for the distribution of electricity and is an important producer of energy.
The government is in the process of establishing a state owned transmission system operator, Sonatrel, which is due to be operational in 2017/2018.
The Rural Electrification Agency (AER) was created in 1999
- mandate to accelerate rural electrification, but impact has been limited.
- responsible for overseeing rural electrification.
However, in practise, the roles and responsibilities are distributed, and at times duplicated across centralised and decentralised actors making the institutional landscape complex.
- 2009: The Rural Energy Fund (FER) was created (responsible: AER). However, due to the lack of funding it has had limited impact to date.
- 2002 and 2012: mainly MINEE and EDC did rural electrification: 1,600 population centres
- Since 2013: EDC engages in more projects. The decentralised authorities get support from Special Council Support Fund for Mutual Assistance (FEICOM) and the National Programme for Participative Development (PNDP).
- AER will have a more important role in the future.
Historically MINEE was the entity responsible for rural electrification projects, but the AER, EDC, PNDP, and FEICOM are now playing increasingly important roles.
The main international donors supporting rural electrification include the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, European Union, and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
- Sampablo, Marcos, Guy Henley, Juliana Meng, and Eugene Ochieng. ‘Mini Grid Market Opportunity Assessment: Cameroon’. Carbon Trust, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) at the request of the AfDB, April 2017. http://greenminigrid.se4all-africa.org/file/179/download.
- Abanda, F. H. ‘Renewable Energy Sources in Cameroon: Potentials, Benefits and Enabling Environment’. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 16, no. 7 (1 September 2012): 4557–62. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2012.04.011.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Marcos Sampablo et al., ‘Mini Grid Market Opportunity Assessment: Cameroon’ (Carbon Trust, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) at the request of the AfDB, April 2017), http://greenminigrid.se4all-africa.org/file/179/download.
- ↑ IEA, ‘Cameroon: Renewables and Waste for 2014 IEA - Report’, 2017, http://www.iea.org/statistics/statisticssearch/report/?year=2014&country=Cameroon&product=RenewablesandWaste.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Birgit Aurela, ‘Cameroon & Renewable Energy. Country at-a-Glance’ (Laurea Univesity of Applied Sciences, Finland, 2012), https://www.laurea.fi/en/document/Documents/Cameroon%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Etudes Engineering Développement, ‘Etude Sur l’état Des Lieux Du Secteur. Rapport Final’ (DPP GIZ – TATS “IMPROVING ACCESS TO SOLAR ENERGY THROUGH A BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID APPROACH”, 2013), https://energypedia.info/images/2/28/Rapport_final-baseline_study-GIZ-TOTAL_Vf.pdf.