Angola’s power generation and electrification ambitions

The Angolan government’s focus is shifting towards the inclusion of more renewable energy sources and enhancing domestic electrification.

in figures

Expected installed capacity by 2027: 9.64 GW

Targeted electrification rate by 2027: 50%

Planned proportion of green energy in Angola’s energy mix by 2025: 77%

Angola’s power generation and electrification ambitions

April 30, 2024

Angola is working hard to increase its power generation capacity by boosting hydro and solar energy, as well as linking and expanding its electric grids. This will create more sustainable income sources, promote the global energy transition, increase the country’s exports and modernise the economic possibilities of its citizens.

Angola has set ambitious plans to create a more balanced power generation sector and to strengthen the economy. While recent years have seen it emphasise the expansion of its downstream capabilities to add value to the country’s oil and gas production, the government’s focus is now shifting towards the inclusion of more renewable energy sources and enhancing domestic electrification. In 2023 the country increased its budget dedicated to electricity production to USD 817.2 million, up from USD 490 million in 2022.
As of 2023, the Southern African nation produced 3.67 GW from hydro, 400 MW from solar, and 2.23 GW from thermal. Several projects are expected to come on line between 2024 and 2027 to increase the proportion of energy from renewables, bring the country’s installed electricity production capacity to around 9.64 GW by 2027 and ultimately modernise the economy.


GROWTH IN RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION: By 2025, green energy is expected to comprise 77% of Angola’s energy mix. The main focus of Angola’s power generation programme is on expanding its hydroelectric potential, which is already the country’s main source of power. The most recent hydro project is the massive 2.07-GW Laúca hydroelectric power station, which reached its full capacity in September 2023.
A further five new hydro developments are in the works, with the largest being the Caculo Cabaça project located in Lunda Norte. This 2.17-GW hydro plant is being developed through a partnership between China Gezhouba Group and Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water, with its first phase expected to be commissioned in 2024.
Other upcoming projects include the 520-MW Capanda hydro project located in Malanje, which is currently partially active; the 453-MW Tumulo do Caçador hydro plant located in Kwanza Norte, which is expected to be commissioned in 2028; and the 403-MW Cafula hydro facility located in Moxico, which is expected to come on line in 2028.
Beyond the large expansion of Angola’s hydropower facilities, the country is also taking advantage of its potential for renewables. The Ministry of Energy and Water’s recent mapping studies reveal that the country could harness 16.3 GW of solar power and 3.9 GW of wind power. Angola has the potential to become sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of solar energy.
One of the country’s larger solar developments is the EUR 1.3-billion project delivered by international infrastructure entity MCA Group, which involves constructing 48 mini-grid networks with storage batteries in rural villages across the country, along with another 12 on-grid projects. The programme will result in a total installed capacity of 296 MW and is expected to provide electricity to around 1 million citizens.
MCA Group has five other projects in Angola amounting to 80 MW of installed capacity, with three in the eastern region providing 60 MW that are expected to be completed in Q1 2024 and two providing 20 MW that are planned for commissioning in early 2025.
French energy giant TotalEnergies has also put stake in the game, with an 80-MW solar plant in the Quilemba region. The first phase will produce 35 MW and is expected to come on line in 2024.
Other major projects coming before 2025 include the second phase of the Caraculo solar project, which follows the commissioning of its first phase in May 2023 and has a nameplate capacity of 50 MW; the Lucapa solar plant, a 370-MW project expected to begin production by Q1 2024; and the Luena Solar Energy Park, which will have a capacity of nearly 27 MW and is slated to be completed in 2024.
By 2026 Angola expects to have its largest solar project ever. In June 2023, the Export-Import Bank of the United States of America qualified a record USD 900-million loan to build two solar facilities with a combined capacity of 500 MW in the provinces of Malanje and Luanda. The investment falls under the USA’s international infrastructure programme Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership, and the projects are being developed by American infrastructure entities AfricaGlobal Schaffer and Sun Africa.
Finally, at COP28 in December 2023, the UAE’s Masdar signed an agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Water to build a 150-MW solar plant.

RENEWABLES-BASED EXPORTS: Riding on its increase in power generation capacity, Angola also plans on becoming an exporter of hydrogen to Europe. The nation’s state-owned energy company Sonangol is teaming up with German engineering company Gauff and investment entity Conjucta to produce green hydrogen at the country’s newly installed Laúca hydroelectric plant.
The project aims to utilise 400 MW of the facility’s capacity to produce enough green hydrogen to power around 450,000 households in Germany. The USD 1.3-billion development is expected to begin deliveries as early as 2025. The facility will produce liquid ammonia for easy delivery, which will be converted into hydrogen once it reaches its destination.

ELECTRIFICATION CHALLENGES: While power generation projects are being planned across the country, electrification remains a significant challenge in Angola, with rates of around 43% in urban centres and 10% in rural regions. In fact, the country currently has 6.3 GW of installed capacity, but a substantial percentage of this is not in use due to a lack of industrial demand and limited access to electricity.
To address the issue, Minister of Energy and Water João Baptista Borges announced a goal of a 50% electrification rate by 2027, amounting to the connection of 1.7 million new households. To accomplish this goal, the country must modernise its transmission network, which will require investments of around USD 17.2 billion.
Currently the country has three main separate grid networks – northern, central and southern – and isolated grids in the east. The largest grid covers the northern provinces of Luanda, Uige, Bengo, Zaire, Malange, Kwanza Norte and Kwanza Sul with 400 kV and 220 kV lines. The central network caters to the Benguela, Huambo and Bie provinces with 220 kV lines. Finally, the southern grid powers the Huila and Namibe provinces using 220 kV lines.
Plans include linking the national grids through a north-central-south link that will enlarge the network from 3,350 kilometres of transmission lines to 16,350 kilometres by 2025.
Upcoming projects also include connecting the grid to its neighbours via the 600-MW Baynes Dam hydroelectric project located in northwest Namibia, which is being jointly developed by the two nations, and a northern connection to the proposed Inga hydroelectric facility located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read our latest insights on: