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Mozambique Sectors

What is Mozambiqueʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Power sector in 2030

Mozambique’s power sector is dominated by hydropower, alongside minor production capacities from gas and oil thermal plants.4 86% of the country’s electricity production in 2015 was sourced from hydropower, followed by 13% from gas, and 1% from oil.4 Fossil gas has seen an increase in the past years reaching a level of 20% in 2019.

If this trend continues, it could lock the country in a carbon intensive pathway. 1.5°C compatible pathways indicate that Mozambique would need to reduce its reliance on natural gas and oil from 20% of the power mix in 2019 to a maximum of 2% by 2030. Similarly, carbon intensity would need to drop from 80 gCO₂/kWh in 2019 to a maximum of 10 gCO₂/kWh by 2030, and full decarbonisation by 2033, representing an 89-100% reduction in the sector’s carbon intensity.

This stands in contrast with the country’s NDC target of adding at least 450 MW of new natural gas capacities by 2025. Other reports indicate the intention to increase natural gas supplies to 3.25 GW by 2030.8 Mozambique is heavily investing in natural gas, and is expected to become the world’s third largest natural gas exporter by 2023, which puts the country at risk of being stuck with stranded assets requiring high upfront investments, considering that natural gas would need to be fully phased out in the following decade.7

Mozambique’s NDC also aims to promote renewable energy sources with a total capacity of 567 MW by 2025. With Mozambique’s total installed generating capacity at 2.6 GW in 2016, it is likely that the aforementioned renewable energy target would need to be enhanced to comply with 1.5°C compatible pathways, especially when the intended addition of natural gas thermal plants are included.

Towards a fully decarbonised power sector

The carbon intensity of Mozambique’s power sector would need to reduce from 80gCO₂/kWh in 2019 to zero by 2033 at the latest to be 1.5°C compatible. This could be driven by the complete phase-out of natural gas from the power mix by no later than 2033, and other unabated fossil fuels around 2030. Renewable energies should contribute 100% of the national power mix by 2040, already reaching a level of 79% in 2019, mostly based on hydropower.

The power sector decarbonisation will almost exclusively be driven by the uptake of renewable energy, with solar, hydropower and wind power offering the greatest potentials and sources for upscaling.4

However, Mozambique’s intentions to considerably increase its natural gas production capacities, as indicated by the ongoing USD 20 billion Mozambique LNG Project, and the target to construct 3.25 GW of natural gas thermal plants by 2030, risks locking in a carbon intensive pathway and creating stranded assets.3

1 Government of Mozambique. Updated First National Determined Contribution of Mozambique. (2021).

2 USAID. Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Mozambique. (2017).

3 Mozambique LNG. About the Mozambique Liquefied Natural Gas Project. Total Energies. (2020).

4 Mokveld, K. & von Eije, S. Final Energy Report Mozambique. (2018).

5 van der Plas, R. J. et al. Mozambique Biomass Energy Strategy. (2012).

6 IEA. Mozambique Key Energy Statistics, 2019. International Energy Agency. (2022).

7 UN Environment Programme. Protecting the environment in Mozambique’s emerging oil and gas sector. UN Environment Programme UN Environment Programme (2019).

8 Government of Mozambique. Plano de Acção Tecnológica e Ideias de Projecto: Tecnologias de Geração de Electricidade e de Gestão e Tratamento de Resíduos Sólidos Urbanos.(2018).

9 Inter Institutional Group on Climate Change. National Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy. (2021).

10 See assumptions here: https://1p5ndc-pathways.climateanalytics.org/methodology/#moz-ndc

11 Global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C tend to include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches, and often rely on rather conservative assumptions in the development of renewable energy technologies. This tends to result in greater reliance on technological CDR than if a faster transition to renewables were achieved. The scenarios available at the time of this analysis focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology, and our downscaling methods do not yet take national BECCS potentials into account.

12 It should be noted that as of March 2022, Total Energies has declared force majeure on the Mozambique LNG Project due to the prevailing security situation in Cabo Delgado province, where the Project is situated. The future of the Project is therefore uncertain.

Mozambiqueʼs power mix

gigawatt

Scaling
Dimension
SSP1 Low CDR reliance
2019203020402050400600
SSP1 High CDR reliance
2019203020402050400600
Low Energy Demand
2019203020402050400600
High Energy Demand - Low CDR reliance
2019203020402050400600
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Unabated fossil
  • Renewables incl. Biomass
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Mozambiqueʼs power sector emissions and carbon intensity

MtCO₂/yr

Unit
−10−50519902010203020502070
  • Historical emissions
  • Low Energy Demand
  • 100%RE
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • High Energy Demand - Low CDR reliance

1.5°C compatible power sector benchmarks

Carbon intensity, renewable generation share, and fossil fuel generation share from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Mozambique

Indicator
2019
2030
2040
2050
Decarbonised power sector by
Carbon intensity of power
gCO₂/kWh
80
0 to 10
−10 to 0
−20
2027 to 2033
Relative to reference year in %
−100 to −89%
−108 to −100%
−128 to −123%
Indicator
2019
2030
2040
2050
Year of phase-out
Share of unabated coal
Percent
0
0
0
0
Share of unabated gas
Percent
20
0 to 2
0
0
2028 to 2033
Share of renewable energy
Percent
79
98 to 100
100
100
Share of unabated fossil fuel
Percent
21
0 to 2
0
0

Footnotes