Total installed electricity capacity (2008): 65 MW

  • Thermal : 93.3%
  • Hydroelectric: 4.4%

Total primary energy supply (2008): 5,352 ktoe

  • Biomass: 96%
  • Oil and oil products: 3.98%
  • Hydroelectric: 0.02%

Somalia has the lowest consumption of modern forms of energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Somalia has long relied on fuel wood and charcoal, and imported petroleum to meet its energy needs. Firewood and charcoal are the major sources of energy, accounting for the vast majority of the country’s total energy consumption.

There are no large dams in Somalia, with diesel generators being the main source of energy.

Total electricity generation in 2008 was 326 GWh, with consumption being 293 GWh in the same year. Renewable sources contributed 15 GWh, or 4.4%, to this.


Without proven oil reserves and only 200 billion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, Somalia has no hydrocarbon production up to now. Exploration activity is hindered by the internal security situation and the multiple sovereignty issues. Somalia’s petroleum consumption was estimated at 5,000 bbl/day in 2010.

The country relies heavily on imported petroleum for production of electricity. The country had one oil refinery, constructed with the aid of Iraq, which ceased operation with the onset of war in 1991.

Oil imports estimated at 3,827 bbl/day (2008).


Somalia is currently divided into three regions; Somaliland, Puntland and South and Central Somalia. The regions have separate electricity networks. In Puntland, electricity is mainly accessible to major towns like Bosaso.

In South and Central Somalia, 60% of households in Mogadishu and 23% of households in Merka have access to electricity for lighting. 95% of the poorest households in the country do not have access to electricity.


Rural and urban energy needs are primarily wood and charcoal based, though there is an increasing use of oil-based energy in urban areas. With a growth in urbanization, combined with the return of the Somali Diaspora, energy demands will increase. The view is that as an imperative for economic growth and nation building, sustainable sources of energy will be needed, combined with more efficient use of existing energy sources. The destruction of electricity infrastructure during the long period of civil conflict, and the ensuing slow pace of rehabilitation of the national electricity grid, has led many in the country to utilise self-generation, mostly from diesel sources.


Somalia is rich in energy resources, having unexploited reserves of oil and natural gas, untapped hydropower, extensive geothermal energy resources, many promising wind sites, and abundant sunshine, which can produce solar power. The major obstacles to development of these potentially available energy resources are political, financial and institutional. Traditional biomass fuels such as firewood and charcoal, primarily used in rural and poor communities, account for 82% of the country’s total energy consumption.


Average insolation stands at 5-7 kWh/ m2/day. With over 3,000 hours of high and constant sunlight annually, Somalia is ideally placed to utilise solar energy. Solar resources have been utilised for off-grid generation in the country, as well as for water heating for municipal buildings. Solar cooking has also seen some uptake in the country, and solar power is seen as the energy source of choice for the rehabilitation of many municipal buildings in the country, particularly health centres.


Wind speeds vary from 3-11.4 m/s. Four 50 kW turbines were installed in Mogadishu in 1988, Wind energy has also been utilised for water pumping, with installations made by the UN Trusteeship Administration of Somalia from as early as the 1940s. The country has large areas of shallow sea along its coastline, particularly suitable for off-shore wind power, with the added benefit that this resource is close to a number of major load centres, including Mogadishu and Berbera. Studies estimate that approximately 50% of the land area of the country has suitable wind speeds for power generation and 95% could benefit, and profit, from replacing diesel-powered water pumps with wind systems.


In 1985, wooded areas in Somalia were estimated to be about 39 million hectares – roughly 60% of Somalia’s land area. Due to overexploitation these figures have reduced significantly. In 2001, statistics indicate that the forest cover may have been as low as 10%. Solid and liquid biomass options in Somalia still hold a significant potential, however, primarily in the form of crop and animal wastes, and marine biomass. Sustainable charcoal production methods could also be used to great effect in the country, as current charcoal production is causing significant environmental impacts.


Available data indicates that the geothermal energy potential is too low to be commercially exploited for power generation.
Potential is estimated at 100-120 MW. As of 1985, this hydropower potential was largely untapped, with only 4.8 MW exploited on the lower Juba valley (pre-war estimates).
Various NGOs and charity groups, including the UN Division for Sustainable Development, have been active in the country promoting energy efficiency, particularly in the form of solar cookers, more efficient biomass stoves, and promoting more efficient charcoal manufacture. A significant proportion of the electricity generated in the country is done so through private diesel generators, often purchased second-hand.
Excerpt from Country Energy Profile of Somalia on
Source: Afribiz


  1. This article mainly talks about Somalia that has many forms of energy generation.. Somaliland uses portable genrerators capable of a few KW a day. Selling off the pere- 1991 power infestructure for personal gain and missmanagement when no one was watching befell on the poor landers.

    • Following the Bombardment of Somaliland cities the Military of Somalia made sure to steal even the roofs of homes and the toilet seats let alone leaving behind equipment and plants!!!

      We can now witness the effect of stolen property on Muuqdishu and the rest of Somalia 22years on!

      Where there is Xaraam there cannot be peace.

  2. Wrong somalia propaganda machine there are a lot of independent businesses and homes that are using solar in Somaliland. And soon we will be connected to Ethiopias dam. I am however, hoping that Somaliland takes advantage of solar energy fully on its own.