Hydrodependency in Africa: Risky Business

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The world gets about 20% of its electricity from hydropower, but in Sub-Saharan Africa that number is 60% (excluding coal-heavy South Africa) – and many countries get more than 80% of their electricity from dams. Drought-caused blackouts are common, and expected to get worse with climate change. Hundreds more dams are being planned, many of them in already dangerously hydro-dependent regions. This map shows the current status of hydrodependency across the continent, and plots some key proposed dams in these places. Finally, we include some information about reduced river flows and major droughts that have already begun to affect African energy sectors.