Quiz: What You Don’t Know About Energy in Africa


Solar panel in Rwanda (Credit: Azuri Technologies/DIVatUSAID)

It's home to millions of people whose homes lack even a single lamp, but it's also a frontier of great change and innovation. How much do you know about sub-Saharan Africa's energy potential?

Quiz by Christina Nunez

What portion of sub-Saharan Africa's people do not have electricity?

  • One-third
  • Half
  • Two-thirds
  • Almost all

More than 600 million people, or about two-thirds of the population, do not have access to reliable power. Though sub-Saharan Africa is home to 13 percent of the world's people, it accounts for just 4 percent of the energy demand.

Which country is set to overtake Nigeria as the region's largest producer of oil over the next decade?

  • Ghana
  • Angola
  • South Sudan
  • Uganda

The International Energy Agency predicts Angola will temporarily surpass Nigeria in crude oil production from 2016 through the early 2020s, partly because of regulatory uncertainty and theft in Nigeria.

Which country is sub-Saharan Africa's biggest coal producer?

  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Mozambique
  • Zimbabwe

South Africa is far and away the largest coal producer in the region and the entire continent, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration figures, ranking seventh in the world.

In Kenya, which renewable source provides the most electricity for the grid and is set to expand even further?

  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Hydropower
  • Geothermal

Geothermal has been displacing hydropower in Kenya and now contributes 51 percent of its electricity, a share expected to increase with new projects slated to come online by 2018, according to the World Bank.

Demand for one energy resource will outstrip that for all others combined in coming decades, according to IEA forecasts for the region. What is it?

  • Natural gas
  • Bioenergy
  • Oil
  • Coal

"Despite increasing incomes and a move towards other fuels," IEA says, sub-Saharan Africa's energy mix will continue to be dominated by fuel wood, charcoal, and other forms of biomass-derived energy. Indoor pollution from cooking and heating with inefficient stoves causes more than half a million deaths annually in Africa.

Power capacity in the region will quadruple by 2040. How much of the electricity will come from renewable energy?

  • 24 percent
  • 34 percent
  • 44 percent
  • 54 percent

IEA predicts that renewables' share will more than double, reaching 44 percent—a share higher than that forecasted for the United States, China, and India.

Fifty percent of the region's hydroelectric capacity lies in one nation. Which one?

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Cameroon
  • Angola

The DRC has the biggest hydropower potential, according to a report from the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The cost of some projects, however, might hinder some of that potential.

True or false? Hydroelectric dams have been linked with a higher risk of malaria.

  • True
  • False

True. The still water in dam reservoirs breeds mosquitoes. A September 2015 study found that almost two-thirds of the dams in sub-Saharan Africa were in malaria-prone areas and linked them to more than 1 million new cases of malaria.

About how many barrels of oil per day are lost to theft in Nigeria?

  • 50,000
  • 150,000
  • 300,000
  • 500,000

An estimated 150,000 barrels per day—the equivalent of nearly all of Louisiana's crude output—is diverted from wells in Nigeria, according to IEA. Theft occurs on both a small, domestic level and a large, international one.

How many nuclear reactors exist in Africa?

  • 0
  • 2
  • 4
  • 6

South Africa is home to the continent's only nuclear plant, Koeberg, which has two reactors on the southwestern coast.





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