Cameroon’s growing energy sector, which accounted for almost half of all of its emissions in 2017 when excluding the LULUCF emissions, is dominated by biofuels and waste which accounted for 67% of the total primary energy supply (TPES) in 2017. Following biofuels and waste, crude oil accounted for 18% of TPES in 2017. The remaining 15% of TPES is distributed evenly between oil products (6%), natural gas (5%), and hydropower (4%). Other renewable energy sources do not amount to even 1%.
Though Cameroon’s largest exported product is crude petroleum, its crude oil production has been on a declining trend as its reserves are depleted., Conversely, its natural gas production has been increasing. It has 4.77 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves ranking 47th globally in terms of volumes of reserves.
The residential sector, in 2017, accounted for 72% of Cameroon’s final energy consumption followed by the transport sector at 17%, the industry sector at 6%, and the commercial and public service sector at 3%. Traditional biomass (firewood and charcoal) constituted 91% of the residential sector’s final energy consumption in 2017. Palm oil for biodiesel has also been considered a viable option. The use of traditional biomass and palm oil , however, contributes to deforestation in Cameroon. Increasing electrification rate of end-use sectors and access to clean cooking options would significantly curb household biomass combustion, and reduce fossil fuel usage and indoor air pollution.
Climate change has already significantly impacted Cameroon’s traditional patterns of water availability which has led to power shortages as hydropower accounts for over half (62% in 2019) of the country’s electricity production., The amount of hydropower in the mix is expected to increase to 75% by 2023. Cameroon’s 2021 NDC target of increasing the share of renewables, excluding large hydro, in its electricity mix to 25% by 2035 is a step in the right direction towards diversification of the power mix.