DRC’s Energy Context

DRC has one of the lowest rates of electrification and energy consumption in the world and those that have electricity often experience irregular and unreliable supply service. What’s more, households, businesses and organizations that do have access to electricity often receive their power from self-supplied or neighborhood-owned diesel generators, an expensive and unclean source of power. Additionally, poor energy access is also a logistics problem as many households, businesses and organizations are too distant to reach a sufficient power supply and the infrastructure required to facilitate a new power installation is weak and therefore an expensive barrier to supplying energy.

DRC ranks 174 out of 189 economies on access to electricity with a getting electricity distance to frontier score of 36.49 out of 100, according to the World Bank, which is 10 points worse than the regional average. Additionally, obtaining access to electricity in DRC typically necessitates 6 different procedures, takes 56 days and costs about 15247% of GDP per capita income.

DRC’s key energy problems are:

  • Limited energy options: mostly self-supplied or neighborhood-owned diesel generators, an expensive, high maintenance, unreliable and unclean source of power;
  • Erratic and limited electricity supply are the norm in the DRC;
  • Dilapidated energy infrastructure and mismanagement of existing energy assets;
  • No smart metering and lack of payment options.

How would DRC’s communities benefit from access to electricity?

Electricity is essential to accelerate DRC’s economic growth, empower organizations providing health care and education, reduce charcoal use and prevent future deforestation, and to improve DRC’s security context.  Given the low rates of electrification and the enormous unmet demand, there is a clear socio-economic need and a significant market opportunity in DRC’s energy sector.