The DRC’s energy sector accounted for around 5% of emissions in 2018 when excluding LULUCF emissions. The sector is dominated by the use of biofuels and waste both in households and industry which accounted for approximately 95% of total primary energy supply and 92% of total final consumption in 2017. Oil (2%) and hydropower (2%) accounted for the remaining total primary energy supply.
The residential sector, accounted for 69% of the DRC’s energy consumption in 2017, followed by the commercial and public service sector at 25%, the transport sector at 4%, and finally the industrial sector at 2%. Traditional biomass (firewood and charcoal) constituted 99% of the residential sector’s final energy consumption in the same year. Using biomass for energy contributes to deforestation in the DRC. Increasing electrification rate of end-use sectors and access to clean cooking options would significantly curb household biomass combustion, reduce fossil fuel usage, and improve indoor air quality.
In 2011, the DRC had an estimated 1,600 million barrels of proven recoverable oil reserves. However, the country does not have oil refineries, so it exports all crude oil and imports refined petroleum products, which were the country’s second largest import in 2019. Fossil fuel imports exposes the country to oil price volatility and to dependence on suppliers. Increasing the use of renewable energies could help strengthen the country’s energy security. The DRC had neither coal nor fossil gas in its energy mix in 2020. According to a draft National Energy Policy policy, the government aims to promote the exploitation of hydrocarbons in sedimentary basin, to ensure regular supply of petroleum products and increase energy independence.
In 2017, electricity comprised 3.6% of the total final energy consumption in the DRC. The vast majority of electricity is produced with hydropower. Though the DRC is considered to be among the top five countries with the largest hydroelectrical potential in the world, it has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world.