Renewables Overview : Cameroon


CAPITAL : Yaoundé
POPULATION : 20,5 million inhabitants 
GDP 2013 : 29,57 billion dollars


cop-21-32 % GHG emissions by 2035 via

  • the greening of agricultural policy
  • a growth of 25% of the part of renewables in the electric mix of Cameroon by 2035



Cameroon, as many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is facing difficulties to provide access to electricity to the whole population. In 2013, only 18% of inhabitants had access to electricity, i.e. less than one out of five. In 2012, Cameroon produced 305 kWh/inhabitants for an electricity consumption of 6.2 TWh.

Electricity is mainly produced by hydroelectricity (which accounts for 73.3% of the production), followed by thermal power plant and biomass (the latter lagging far behind by being responsible for only 1% of the production).

Cameroon electric mixDue to hydraulic, renewables have a predominant role in the energy mix: they produce more than three quarter of the electricity. Despite its major role, the contribution of hydroelectricity has significantly decrease over the past few years, dropping down from 96.4% to 73%.

Yet, the hydraulic branch has been in a constant progression between 2002 and 2012 with a annual growth rate of 3.7%. This growth is the fact of an increase in fossil energy price, that has had a positive effect on the hydraulic projects profitability.



  • Cameroon hydraulic production reached 4.6 TWh in 2012, ranking Cameroon 2nd hydroelectric potential in Africa. The Tanagra river concentrates 70% of the African producible.
  • Two hydroelectric dams are currently constructed in Lom Pangram and Memeve’ele.
  • At the same time, the government has expressed its wish to reinforce Song Loulou and Edea dams, by adding a production capacity of 1 270 MW.



Last 2nd July, the Cameroon government and the Moroccan company Platinum Power signed an agreement in order to launch the construction of a new hydroelectric dam (Makay Complex). This project will add 400MW to the production capacity of Cameroon by 2020. The financial need is above 500 billions of de FCFA (800 millions of euros) and will be provided by a public–private partnership.

The project is located along the Nyong river. With a production of 1600 GWh/year, it should make it easier to access to electricity for more than 6 million people.
Topographic survey has already been realized.

The project has been divided in two sites :

  • Makay site, whose forecast capacity is to be between 120 and 150 MW
  • Makay 2 that supposedly has a 150 MW capacity.

Construction is to last from February 2017 to 2020 according to estimations. Platinum power is forecasting a 30% growth of Cameroon power capacity thanks to this project.

Besides, the government wishes to install 6 000 MW more along the river and to invest up to 5.6 billions of euros in order to reach a goal of 3 000 MW of capacity by 2025.

Despite its rapid growth, hydraulic sector is a double-edged asset. The production being highly volatile, the government has to resort  to costly thermal power station to palliate the lack of production. In addition, the exploitation of hydroelectric plant is slow and construction delay goes up to 6 years.



Aside from hydroelectricity, Cameroon has begun to develop other renewables in order to balance its energy mix. Solar appeared as an appealing alternative given that the delays are not over 2 years.

During the last few years, the government has signed several agreements and MoU, but no projects has really materializes.

Last June, Basile Atangana Kouna announced the construction of a 53 billion CFA photovoltaic project that will be financed by Eximbank China. The whole project should concern 13 000 cities and villages. The phase launched in June will concern 350 areas spread into 10 regions of the country.

At the end of 2014, the government also signed a MoU with JCM Greenquest Solar Corporation for the development of 500 MW of photovoltaic plants. JCM received a 77 000-dollar financing from SEFA in order to prepare the first phase of the project: a 72MW PV Groundplant.

The financing has allowed to successfully lead the study to evaluate the impact of the plant in terms of environmental and social concerns. This first plant will be developed in Mbalmayo, near the capital.



Finally, in May 2015, Cameroon announced its first investment in wind energy. A pilot project of 42MW (extensible up to 80MW) should be developed in Monts Baboutos.

Basile Atangana Kouna also indicated that other projects were in the pipeline : installations of mini photovoltaic plants in 1000 cities, and implementation of biogas projects.


An analysis by Finergreen, expert in renewable energy.