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Renewable Energy Potential

Physical Potential

Cameroon has a significant and mostly untapped potential for renewable energy, this includes hydro, solar, geothermal, biomass and wind. To date only a small fraction of the hydro potential has been utilised and initial developments of commercial solar ventures are being supported and undertaken.

Solar Potential

There is good solar radiation in the northern part of the country (5.8 kWh/day/m2) and to a lesser extent in the more humid southern part of the country (4.5 kWh/day/m2). Solar technology will see growing opportunities, as there are currently only 50 PV installations across the country, mostly through distributed generation systems. In 2015, Cameroon signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its first renewable energy IPP, Greenquest Solar Corporation, to develop a 500 MW solar photovoltaic installation. This project (Cameroon 2020 Photovoltaic Power Project) will be located the northern region of Cameroon and will pilot with a 72 MW first-stage PV plant.


Global Horizontal Irradiation in Cameroon (kWh/m2)

Source: Solargis


Direct Normal Irradiation in Cameroon (kWh/m2)

Source: Solargis

Wind Potential

Wind energy potential exists in the northern part of Cameroon and coastal areas with an average wind speed of 5-7 m/s at some favourable sites. In most regions, however, the average wind speed is only about 2-4 m/s at a height of 100 meters. Currently, two rapid wind turbines are installed in Douala and some feasibility studies for a 42 MW (extendable to 80 MW) wind energy project are under way in the Bamboutos Mountains in Eastern Cameroon.


Wind potential map of Cameroon

Source: Vestas Wind Systems A/S, derived from International Energy Agency (IEA), the World Bank and Vestas data

Hydro Potential

Cameroon has the third largest hydropower potential in Africa (after Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia). To date, less than 5% has been utilised out of the technically feasible exploitable potential of around 23 GW, equivalent to the generating capacity of 115 TWh/year, located principally in the Sanaga basin. Cameroon’s government plans to add capacity of at least 450 MW by 2017. Three large scale hydropower projects are currently in various stages of development: Lom Pangar (30 MW), Memeve’ele (210 MW), Nachtigal (420 MW).

Bioenergy Potential

Cameroon’s enormous forest area covers almost 50% of the country and represents the 3rd largest biomass potential in sub-Saharan Africa. Evaluated at ~25 million hectares, it is the most abundantly used energy source for lighting and heating of households, especially in rural zones. Cameroon’s potential to produce electricity from biomass residues is estimated at ~1 GWh. A recent study of the Rural Electrification Agency identified 37 sites in 9 regions where energy can be produced using biomass. At present, Cameroon is not taking part in any commercial production of biofuels; only a few isolated trials have been undertaken.

Geothermal Potential

To date no detailed assessment for the geothermal potential within Cameroon has been conducted, although the presence of an active volcanic line alongside Cameroon’s Western border, emphasised by thermal springs and the frequent eruptions of Mount Cameroon, points towards favourable conditions. Hot springs are found in Ngaoundéré, Mt Cameroon and Manengoumba area, Lake Moundou.

Key figures

Available statistics:
Official languages
French, English
Population (2016 est.)24.36m
Population growth (2016 est.), %
Median age (2016 est.), years
Urbanization rate (2010 - 2015), % p.a.
Urban population (2015), % of total
Rural population (2015), % of total
Population density (2015), per km2
HDI (2014)
153 of 188
National Currency
Central African CFA Franc (XAF)
Exchange rate (March 2017), USD
1 USD = 618.101 XAF
GDP (2015), USD million current
GDP growth (2015), %
GDP annual growth rate forecast (2020), %
GNI per capita (2015), PPP current int’l USD
Inflation (2016), %
Inflation Rate Forecast (2020), %
Foreign Direct Investment, net inflows (2015), BOP current USD millions
Net official development assistance (2014), current USD millions
Budget deficit (2016), % of GDP
Ease of Doing Business (2017), rank of 190
TI Corruption Index (2016), rank of 176
Installed Generation Capacity (2014), MW
Installed Fossil Fuel Capacity (2014), % of total installed capacity
Hydro Capacity (2014), % of total installed capacity
Other RE Capacity (2014), % of total installed capacity
Renewable electricity output as % of total electricity output excl. hydro (2014)
Avg. distribution and transmission losses as % of output (2013)
Net electricity imports (2013, est.), %
Electrification rate, total (2014) %
Electrification rate, urban (2014) %
Electrification rate, rural (2014) %
Peak demand (2015, est), MW
Per capita electricity consumption (2015), kWh
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