Hydroelectricity in Africa will have to adapt better to climate change according to the IEA. The dams which currently provide 17% of the continent’s electricity and 23% in 2040, will lose 3% of productivity by the end of the century, the equivalent of a full year of production.

The hydropower sector in Africa is highly exposed to climate change and must increase its resilience to future events. The continent which will experience a growing wave of extreme climatic events during this century also intends to rely on hydroelectricity to provide access to its citizens.

Currently, 17% of the energy produced by the continent comes from dams and in countries such as the DRC, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda or Zambia, this share rises to more than 80 %. In addition, the share of hydroelectricity in the continental energy mix is ​​forecast to grow and reach 23% by 2040.

In its report Climate Impacts on African Hydropower, the International Energy Agency assessed the risks and impact of climate change on hydroelectricity in Africa and made proposals for resilience measures.

Thus, according to data collected by the agency, over the course of the century, southern Africa will experience a drier climate with increasingly reduced rainfall while East Africa will face more rainfall. These two events are just as damaging to hydroelectric production, one as the other.

Indeed, the report reveals that the average productivity factor of hydroelectric dams fall by 3% between 2060 and 2099 from the levels recorded between 2010 and 2019. The cumulative loss of hydroelectric power, related to climate change in 21 th century will amount to around 130 TWh, equivalent to the total annual production of the dams currently installed in Africa.


Source: Agence Ecofin