electricity distribution line
In West Africa, the Cameroonian government recently set the year 2035 as a target for becoming an emerging economy.

This target is strengthened by an investment-friendly regime implemented to stimulate foreign direct investment, writes Elodie Delagneau, Event Manager for the Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development (iPAD) Cameroon.

Furthermore, the government is implementing national power development plans to be achieved by 2020 in order to reach an overall 75% electrification rate and 20% rural electrification rate, which is currently steadying at 7%1.

The demand from industries is currently soaring due to the high economic recovery rate and there is an urgent need now to meet the increasing demands from mining and industry, which gained momentum since the opening of the energy sector in 2011. The expansion of the transmission and distribution network will require over US$405 million, and the African Development Bank has already committed up to US$1.34 billion over the next five years for energy project investments in Cameroon, such as the Lom Pangar Dam.

Current capacity

Although renewable energy comprises only 1% of the whole country where preliminary investments are still being promoted, tremendous opportunities in generation projects are being foreseen including hydropower, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and more recently gas with the discovery of significant gas and LNG potential.

The hydroelectric power potential of Cameroon is second only to DRC in Africa, estimated at around 23,000MW, but the current installed capacity represents only about 4% of this technically feasible exploitable supply.

The country has an installed capacity estimated at 1,536MW, mostly generated by the national utility, ENEO Cameroun (938MW), and is currently building small and large scale hydro and thermal plants to contribute to electricity access – barely reaching 46% so far – to 4,000MW by the end of 2030.

Moreover, Cameroon relies on approximately 30 aging diesel power stations as back-up facilities, the largest of which are located in Garoua (20MW), Douala (15.4MW), and Yaounde (10.8MW). Innovations in technology are crucial to support the grid, supplying most of the industry, encouraging a stronger…

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