Africa’s upstream: the other side of the energy transition
Around half of Africa’s population do not have access to electricity. The UN goal for sustainable development includes universal access to affordable and clean energy by 2030. Africa is very unlikely to meet this target. With the population expected to almost double to 2.5 billion by 2050, the issue must be urgently addressed. Despite Africa’s need for energy, and the importance of hydrocarbons in meeting current demand, its upstream sector faces huge risks from the energy transition. The energy transition must be managed carefully and sensitively. That means upstream operators must develop credible decarbonisation plans and improve their access to finance. It also means targeted investment in Africa's upstream sector, particularly in gas, to help displace dirtier fuels and reduce emissions intensity. Increasing gas penetration in tandem with renewables can also diversify Africa’s energy supply mix and improve security of supply.