To bridge the country’s energy deficit, Gabonese authorities since 2016 are committed and active in a new development policy of the country. A new vision that is moreover closely linked to the ideals of sustainable development.
In 2020, the government acquired an additional 1,200 MW of energy, mainly from the Grand Poubara hydroelectric dams in the southeast of the country and another at the Kinguélé site downstream, in order to supply electricity to the entire country. Over time, the demand for electricity has increased almost exponentially. This is due to the rapid and uncontrolled growth of the population in urban areas, mainly in the Gabonese capital, which in turn increases the electricity needs of Gabonese households.
The covid-19 health crisis that has been affecting the world for nearly three years now seems to be slowing down Gabon’s ambition to achieve a 100% clean energy mix based mainly on hydroelectricity. To solve this problem, the government, under the very high instructions of the President of the Republic, Head of State, His Excellency Ali BONGO ONDIMBA, is implementing 34 priority projects and reforms to enable Gabon to avoid an economic crisis and stay on course for the « Emerging Gabon » strategic plan.».
The Minister of Energy and Water, H.E. Alain Claude BILLIE-BY-NZE has clearly outlined the new reforms undertaken by Gabon on the energy transition and on the diversification of the economy, an ideology promoted by the President, His Excellency Ali BONGO. During the last edition of CABEF2022, which was held from 08 to 09 September 2022 in Douala, Cameroon under the theme: Building infrastructure to end energy poverty in Central Africa by 2030. The Central Africa Business Energy Forum (CABEF) committed to work for a better energy future for the Central African sub-region. The main objective of this first session was to undertake a free trade between the countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). It was also an opportunity for Gabon, through the Minister of Oil, Gas and Mines, H.E. Paul MASSASSA to highlight and promote its projects regarding the construction of infrastructure for the storage and processing of gas and oil for better exploitation oriented towards renewable energy.
Gabon is not backing down from any obstacle and is taking on the challenge of making abundant and competitive clean energy available to industries and households.
To achieve this, the first reform will be to liberalize the sector with the opening of competition in all segments of production which constitutes the new energy trend between gas, oil and hydroelectricity. The second reform will be the provision of solar energy for households located in areas far from the public grid. For this purpose, the country is seeking the support of two other French oil structures such as: Méridiam and Eranov.
It is important to note, however, that Gabon is taking into account the issues related to climate change, as well as its international commitments, while continuing to promote the exploitation of fossil fuels, which is essential for Central Africa, through its participation in the creation of a clean energy market in the sub-region. Gabon rolls out reforms to improve energy regulation and consumer protection by 2035.