Data trends

Below is a selection of African power sector trends based on analysis of the more than 7,000 power plants and projects in our African Energy Live Data platform.

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Trends by region

Central Africa: Private projects to add 2.1GW of capacity by 2027


Selected trends

  • As of end-2022, Central Africa’s installed electricity generating capacity stood at 7.5GW.
  • This is expected to increase by around one-third to 9.9GW by 2027.
  • Almost all new capacity (2.1GW) will be built by private developers.
  • Hydroelectric power provides the bulk of installed generation capacity (4.3GW)  – but other sources of renewable energy are starting to gain a stronger foothold.

Read our full analysis

West Africa: Total installed generation capacity could reach 43GW by 2027


Selected trends

  • Total installed generation capacity could reach 43GW by 2027 from 31GW at end-2021
  • Many of these capacity additions are planned for Nigeria, where their delivery may be patchy in an electricity supply industry (ESI) where dispatching power from existing plants to an inadequate grid is already a major problem.
  • Of the 9.2GW in the pipeline of planned projects with claimed commissioning dates, 3.5GW – a little over one-third – will come from generation plants fuelled by natural gas and liquid fuels.
  • The current pipeline suggests at least 1GW of solar and 510MW of wind will come online through to 2027.

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Southern Africa: More than 13GW of publicly-procured power is expected online by 2027


Selected trends

  • Total installed capacity in Southern Africa stood at 76.8GW as of end-2021, with South Africa accounting for the vast majority, at 59.7GW.
  • 23.4GW electricity generation capacity is expected online by 2027 .
  • 13.4GW of this total is expected to come from public procurement programmes.
  • South Africa accounts for 12.7GW of the total 23.4GW expected online by 2027.

See the full analysis

East Africa: 14.7GW power due online by 2027


Selected trends

  • Total installed generation capacity in East Africa stood at 19.8GW as of end-2022; this is expected to rise to 34.5GW by 2027 – mostly driven by hydroelectric power (HEP), solar, wind and geothermal.
  • This total is set to be boosted by some 14.7GW from 2023-27.
  • Some 8.7GW of HEP is expected to be commissioned by 2027

See the full analysis

Trends by fuel

By 2027, almost 30% of Africa’s electricity will be generated using natural gas

13 December 2022


Selected trends

  • As of end-2021, total natural gas installed capacity stood at 121GW.
  • Analysis of African Energy Live Data shows 18.3GW generated from natural gas to come online by 2027.
  • By 2027, almost 30% of Africa’s electricity will be generated using natural gas, a figure that rises to 45% if dual-fuel plants are included.
  • The project pipeline to 2027 also shows that the share of the continental energy mix taken up by gas is declining in favour of a bigger role for renewables.

See the full analysis

Africa's coal-fired generation capacity set to peak in 2024, at 52.9GW

11 November 2022


Selected trends

  • Analysis of African Energy Live Data shows Africa's operating coal capacity reached 50.6GW as of end-2021; southern Africa dominated, with over 46.2GW of capacity.
  • Some 2.7GW of new capacity is set to come into service between 2022 and 2024, before a period of planned decommissioning of almost 4.5GW in South Africa.
  • Several aging coal plants will be taken offline and repurposed to supply renewable energy in South Africa’s energy transition plan.
  • Coal generation capacity should peak in 2024, at 52.9GW, before a decline to 48.9GW in 2027.

See the full analysis

15GW of new solar capacity expected by 2025

20 September 2022


Selected trends

  • On-grid solar will continue to dominate.
  • Off-grid and embedded solar generation will increase to 3GW by 2025.
  • The average project size for planned and in-construction off-grid and embedded projects will increase from 0.6MW before 2022 to 22MW.
  • The final 2025 figure could be even higher, given the short lead and construction times for solar projects.

See the full analysis

Wind power capacity expected to double by end-2025

9 August 2022


Selected trends

  • ‘Africa’s wind power capacity has been consistently growing in double-digit percentages every year for the past decade.
  • The average wind power project size is 63MW.
  • Total on-grid capacity expected to rise from 7,177MW at end-2021 to reach 15,877MW by 2025.
  • On-grid capacity represents 95% of total currently operating wind, spread across 96 projects.
  • Between them, North Africa and Southern Africa have 6,456MW of operational wind power – or 86% of the continent’s total operating capacity.
  • In 2021, 71% of all operating on-grid wind capacity was privately-owned. This figure is likely to rise as high as 83% by 2025.

See the full analysis

Africa's hydroelectric power capacity could rise 65% by 2027

25 July 2022


Selected trends

  • On-grid HEP remains dominant with 37.1GW on-grid capacity operating from 324 operating projects.
  • There are signs that DFIs and private equity (PE) investors are again looking at large HEP scheme.
  • An average of 4.2GW/yr of new capacity could be added in 2022-27*.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa could have total HEP capacity of 55,603MW by 2027, compared with 32,254MW in 2021 – an increase of 72%.
  • Live Data records 706 planned projects with a combined capacity of 112.8GW, but this includes a lot of ‘paper projects’, where a site has been identified but there has been no actual development work.
  • Of the capacity to be added on the continent by 2027, 81% will be state-owned (20,462MW).

See the full analysis

*The Live Data pipeline does not include every declared project, but rather those that are showing a likelihood of progressing

Annual review

Africa's power generation sector in 2021: Net power generation additions at lowest levels since 2012

10 June 2022


Selected trends

  • A net 5,733MW was added to the continent’s grid during 2021, the lowest figure since 2012.
  • Fewer projects came online in North Africa but in terms of MW sub-Saharan Africa did slightly better than in 2020 with 3,394MW added in 2021.
  • African Energy Live Data recorded PPAs signed for 1,479MW of new capacity in 2021, compared with 5,417MW in 2020 when national authorities were more optimistic the pandemic’s impact would be short-lived. The 2016-20 five-year annual average for PPA signings was 4,410MW.
  • A substantial increase in the rate of generation plant commissioning is inevitable and will be weighted in favour of new technologies.
  • As of early June 2022, Live Data recorded 382GW of generation projects at the construction or planning phase, compared to total installed capacity of 242GW (a significant proportion of which is not actually available).
  • Some 65GW of potential additions (535 projects) have expected commissioning dates between now and 2025; 135 of these are under construction, comprising 32GW of capacity.

See the full analysis



We use African Energy Live Data to provide clients with analysis of the current status and trajectory of Africa’s power generation sector.  We can tailor our data and analysis offering for a wide range of uses including support for sales and investment opportunities, energy modelling, mapping, sector and competitor analysis or case studies.

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Ajay Ubhi

Ajay Ubhi

Head of data

Ajay’s role is to conduct and oversee research and analysis for African Energy’s consultancy work, with a focus on power sector forecasting and data analytics.
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