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Expanding versus greening? Long-term energy and emission transitions in Mozambique

Mahumane, Gilberto, Mulder, Peter
Energy policy 2019 v.126 pp. 145-156
electricity, electricity generation, energy policy, exports, fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, markets, renewable energy sources, Mozambique
Mozambique is rapidly emerging as one of the leading energy producers in Africa. We develop a comprehensive scenario analysis to review the energy revolution in Mozambique. Like much of Africa, Mozambique features a competition between development of its vast reserves of renewable energy and fossil fuels. We assess the implied energy and emissions transitions as well as the potential impact of a range of sustainable policy options. Our analysis reveals an emerging ‘energy dichotomy’, where a spectacular expansion of energy production goes together with an only gradual energy consumption transition. We find that over time the share of modern renewable energy sources tends to marginalize in the energy production mix while remaining stable in the energy consumption mix. About one-third of the GHG emissions associated with energy production can be linked to energy export. Also, we find that sustainable energy policies at the supply side lead to far higher cumulative emission reductions than demand-side policies. Finally, we show that even in the long run, a complete ban on thermal electricity generation capacity in Mozambique would by no means lead to shortages in the domestic electricity market but only slightly limit potential electricity export.