The major source of energy for the whole country is fuel wood, which is extracted from the country’s forest resources, followed by petroleum products, electricity and renewable energy. According to AFREC 2020 energy balance, approximately 82% of the biomass was used I the households followed by 18% in communication and public sectors. The total energy consumed in 2018 was 563 ktoe. The over-reliance of the city and major urban centers on fuel wood (firewood and charcoal) is destroying the country’s forest resources and natural vegetation cover at an alarming rate, causing general environmental degradation.

The Gambia is heavily dependent on imports to meet its petroleum requirements. These include Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a cooking fuel substitute, and diesel and heavy fuel oil for generating electricity. There is currently no domestic oil production, but companies are exploring potential deposits offshore. Total primary energy supply in 2018 was 645 ktoe. There are some limited activities in the field of biofuels, mainly produced from Jatropha. Several projects were initiated by the government in the 1980s to reduce the country’s dependence on fuel wood and charcoal. This included the promotion of improved cooking stoves using firewood or charcoal and groundnut shell briquettes.

Recently the Department of State for Petroleum, Energy and Mineral Resources (DoSPEMR) participated in the promotion of biogas through the Peri-Urban Project for Agriculture. Within this, 20 biogas digesters in rural and peri-urban areas were implemented. At least two of these sites are running satisfactorily. In addition, Naanovo Energy Gambia Ltd., a subsidiary of the American Naanovo Energy, has signed a 25-year PPA with NAWEC for a 14 MW waste-to-energy plant in the country. In addition, Electronic Solar, an Italian firm, has expressed interest in a combined waste and miscanthus gas project, totaling 10 MW.

Key Figures

2,35 M
Population (2019)
0,77 kus$
GDP/capita (2019)
12,18 GJ/capita
Energy Consumption/Pop. (2018)
0,66 Mtoe
Total Primary Energy Supply (2018)
0,58 Mtoe
Total Final Consumption (2018)
2,11 Mus$ 2010
GDP (2019)

Source

AFREC