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Angola

Official Name:
Republic of Angola

Energy profile

Angola (2012)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

As of 2008 a little more than 30% of Angola’s population benefited from access to power, lower than the 46% average for the nation’s resource-rich African peers. No disaggregated data is available on the levels of rural versus urban access in Angola. However, it is known that Luanda consumes around two-thirds of the nation’s electricity, suggesting relatively high access in the urban and peri-urban areas of the capital. Further, at least 85% of Luanda’s municipalities indicate that they use electricity for lighting, corroborating that the availability of electricity in urban areas is high.Poor access and erratic power supply can be attributed to the fragmented nature of Angola’s power system as well as deficiencies in existing transmission and distribution infrastructure. Angola has three major electric systems that are not interconnected, each operating independently. The north, south, and central systems each have their own networks linking generation sources to load centres.The northern system, serving Luanda, accounts for over 80% of the country’s generation assets, while the central and southern systems have less than 10% each. While blackouts are commonplace in Luanda, they are even more so in the central and southern systems. Ironically, the north actually has a surplus of energy; its blackouts are less due to lack of energy than to operational challenges associated with managing the system during peak-load periods. [3] The absence of a national transmission backbone prevents surplus power in the north being wheeled to the center and south of the country. This problem of regional imbalances in power supply and demand will only become more accentuated as new generation capacity comes on stream, underscoring the importance of improving the transmission network. 

Renewable energy potential

With numerous powerful rivers crossing the country, Angola has tremendous potential for generating electricity. Angola has an estimated hydropower potential of 150,000 GWh/year (not defined as technically or economically feasible), of which about 65,000 GWh/year is considered to be firm potential.The Kwanza River possesses a lot of hydro potential. The government has identified nine feasible sites where hydro power stations can be built. The river has a potential to generate more than 6,000 MW. Currently, only two sites have been developed which are Capanda (520 MW) and Cambambe (180 MW).In April 2009, Namibia and Angola announced that they were going to construct a joint $7 billion 400 MW hydroelectric facility. While on June 24, 2009, Russia’s ambassador to Angola pledged to finance two hydroelectric projects totalling 2,000 MW on the Kwanza River. 

Energy framework

The 1996 general Law of Electricity and the Law on delimited Areas of Economic Activities (Law 5/02) are the fundamental laws which form the Angolan power sector’s legal framework. The same Law 5/02 states that the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power for public consumption are “relatively reserved areas”, meaning private entities require a state concession to enter the sector.. While Angola’s legal framework does not prohibit private sector investment,  the low tariffs caused by government subsidies and concessions make it unattractive. A National Investment Promotion Agency (NIPA) was created in July 2003. The Act No. 5/02 on privatization was enacted on 16 April 2002, but no major privatization in the energy sector has been scheduled or realized.In 2003 the Government enacted a law on environmental protection, and in 2004 a law on the environmental impact assessment of projects was also passed. However, the enforcement texts of these two laws have not yet been published. The first law proposed a National Institute for the Promotion of the Environment, and the Environmental Protection Fund, which are still not yet in place. 

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