Ghana Energy Outlook

Part of Africa Energy Outlook 2019

Africa Energy Outlook 2019 is the IEA’s most comprehensive and detailed work to date on energy across the African continent, with a particular emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. It includes detailed energy profiles of 11 countries that represent three-quarters of the region’s gross domestic product and energy demand.

Key indicators and policy initiatives

Stated Policies

Africa Case

CAAGR 2018-40









 GDP ($2018 billion, PPP)  63  191  322  438  403  728 3.9% 6.3%
 Population (million)  19  29  37  44  37  44 1.9% 1.9%
• with electricity access 45% 84% 100% 100% 100% 100% 0.8% 0.8%
• with access to clean cooking 6% 25% 58% 73% 100% 100% 5% 6.5%
 CO2 emissions (Mt CO2)  5  15  25  33  33  49 3.6% 5.4%

Note: STEPS = Stated Policies Scenario and AC = Africa Case


Policy Key targets and measures
Performance targets
  • Accelerate the displacement of light crude oil by natural gas in electricity generation.
  • Achieve 10% renewable energy in the national energy mix and 20% solar energy in agriculture by 2020.
  • 15% (unconditional) to 45% (conditional) reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to the business-as-usual scenario (around 74 Mt CO2 -equivalent).
Industrial development targets
  • Produce and process estimated reserves of 300 million barrels of oil and gas by 2040.
  • In accordance with the One District, One Factory Initiative, build a factory in each of the 216 districts across the country.

Key energy indicators

Ghana primary energy demand and GDP in the Africa Case, 2010-2040


Ghana primary energy demand and GDP in the Stated Policies Scenario, 2010-2040


Supplying an economy that is four-times the size of today's could require only three times more energy with the implementation of efficiency standards in the AC.

Oil remains the largest energy source in both scenarios, with nearly two-thirds of it consumed in the transport sector.

Ghana electricity generation by technology in the Africa Case, 2010-2040


Ghana electricity generation by technology in the Stated Policies Scenario, 2010-2040


Almost half of today’s electricity comes from hydropower; the rest comes from domestically produced gas (30%) and oil (23%).

The 350% increase of electricity demand in the STEPS is met by increasing generation from gas, which accounts for nearly half of the power mix by 2040, and from solar PV.

Electricity final consumption in Ghana by scenario, 2018-2040


Fossil fuel final consumption in Ghana by scenario, 2018-2040


Two/three-wheelers remain important for passenger transport; in the STEPS, an increasing number of buses accounts for nearly 70% of oil demand growth for transport.

Millions of additional appliances and cooling systems together with the further development of bauxite mining, and steel and aluminium industries are responsible for two-thirds of the additional 45 TWh of electricity demand in the AC; around 10 TWh are avoided thanks to efficiency standards.

Ghana electricity access solutions by type in the Africa Case

Ghana Map

Thanks to strong government leadership since the 1990s, Ghana had an electricity access rate of 84% in 2018, one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.

To reach the remaining population, grid densification (58% of the new connections) and stand-alone systems (27%) are the two main least-cost solutions in both scenarios.

Ghana fuels and technologies used for cooking by scenario, 2018-2030


In the STEPS, strong policies support the provision of clean cooking fuels to more than half of the population mainly through deployment of LPG and improved cookstoves.

In the AC, 16 million people who still lack access to electricity in 2030 under the STEPS gain access through LPG, biogas or improved cookstoves.

Ghana fossil fuel demand and production by scenario to 2040

Ghana gas demand and production by scenario, 2010-2040


Ghana coal demand and production by scenario, 2010-2040


Ghana oil demand and production by scenario, 2010-2040


Ghana remains a relatively minor producer of oil and gas in Africa.

Gas demand grows strongly in the AC, lowering oil use in the power and industry sectors; this increases the need for imports of gas.

Ghana cumulative investment needs, 2019-2040


Around $70 billion of cumulative energy supply investment is needed in the STEPS, 60% of which is for upstream oil and gas.

Investment ramps up by nearly 45% in the AC, with a strong emphasis on renewables and electricity networks.

Ghana policy opportunities

Thanks to notable efforts on electrification, the goal of full access is within grasp in Ghana. A mix of grid extension and stand-alone solutions would be the least-cost way to reach the decreasing share of the population that remains without access.

Taking action to arrest (and reverse) declining oil output would reduce Ghana’s reliance on imports to meet its growing future demand while a renewed push on developing domestic natural gas resources would help Ghana meet its accelerating industrial power needs.

The government needs to develop and implement stronger efficiency policies if the potential savings identified in the AC are to be realised.