Guinea (2012)

Source: REEEP Policy Database (contributed by SERN for REEEP)

This policy & regulatory overview is not updated anymore since 2015. We decided to keep it online due to high demand but would like to make you aware of the fact that it might be outdated.

Energy sources

Total installed electricity capacity (2008): 331 MW

  • Thermal: 62.8%
  • Hydro: 37.2%

Total primary energy supply (2008): 4,275 ktoe
Biomass: 89%
Hydrocarbon Fuels: 10 %
Hydroelectric: 1%

The Electricité Nationale de Guinée (EDG, National Electricity Company of Guinea) has a  installed capacity of about 225MW, to which thermal and hydropower contribute 45% and 55% respectively. The main thermal and hydro plants are Tombo and Garafiri with 115MW and 75MW of installed capacity. Given the lack of maintenance, repairs and spare parts, however, only about half of the installed capacity is currently operational.

Investment in the power sector is essential because demand is set to rise sharply as mining investment and wider economic growth pick up. Energy ministry projections show mining sector demand alone rising from some 80MW in 2010 to more than 500MW by 2015 and 600MW by 2020, when domestic demand is projected to reach 1,100MW.

The potential for becoming a regional power supplier is unlikely to be realised in a country where the biggest hydropower producer, the French-built Garafiri dam, is operating at well below its 75MW capacity. Electricity supply across the country is below 100MW, and generation can be as low as 30MW, leading the Government to bring in expensive emergency solutions. Outside Conakry, pre-independence micro hydropower dams continue to supply power only because of the resourcefulness of Guinean engineers and technicians.

Due to the weak penetration of modern fuels, firewood and charcoal are the main fuels used by households for cooking. More than 76% of households have access to firewood and about one fifth (21.6%) can obtain charcoal.

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The bulk of the country’s demand is covered by imports of hydrocarbons, estimated at 800,000 tons of petroleum, oils and lubricants in 2008 (excluding mining consumption).

All petroleum products consumed in Guinea are imported. In 2005, imports were 692,286 metric tons, compared with 727,820 metric tons in 2004. Guinea also imports small quantities of LPG - 316 tons in 2005; its relatively high price can only be afforded by the wealthiest of buyers.

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Extend network

The official electrification rate is 18.8%, but the real access is estimated to be even lower. Electricity access at present is restricted to major urban settlements, particularly Conakry. The rest of the country, with the exception of few off-grid systems developed in the framework of the Decentralized Rural Electrification Program, is literally living in the dark. Even among the 2 million people who live in Conakry, large sections do not have access to electricity or service is only intermittent and unreliable.

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Capacity concerns

Guinea’s electricity sector is currently in a deep crisis. Over an already constrained peak demand of 120 MW, only 20 MW are being supplied. This crisis reflects mainly the poor management of the sector.  The private sector is largely constrained by the lack of public services, as well as the poor shape of the water, electricity and other infrastructure projects.

EDG experiences significant transmission and distribution (T&D) losses. These losses, characterized by a poor technical condition of the T&D system, are due to years of underinvestment and lack of maintenance, repairs and spare parts. The sector was pushed into a vicious cycle where non-performance of distribution adversely affected generation by minimizing repair and maintenance, leading to ever increasing load shedding and loss of revenues. The T&D system is in urgent need of a complete rehabilitation.

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Renewable energy

Solar energy
The assessment of Guinean solar power potential is limited. The information available indicates an average annual insolation of 4.8 kWh/m2/day and a mean sunshine duration of 2,700 hours per year suggesting that solar potential is considerable. Current operational capacity for photovoltaic technology in the country is 800 kW.

Wind energy
The data on a Guinean wind power potential are similarly limited but suggest average annual wind velocity ranges from 2 to 4 m/s in Maritime Guinea and Middle Guinea. This potential is often regarded as insufficient for large-scale power generation. It is, however, possible to use wind energy for pumping systems using mechanical windmills. There are currently 2 operating wind pumps in the country.

Biomass energy
The biomass potential in Guinea is essentially based on wood energy. Despite the high predominance of fuel woods (wood and charcoal) in the energy balance of the country, its actual potential remains unknown. According to various estimations, the accessible volume is about 8.5 to 14 million m3. Currently, 92 biogas plants are installed.

Geothermal energy
No study has yet been conducted as to the geothermal potential of Guinea.

Guinea has a considerable hydropower potential of roughly 6,000 MW - an annual production capacity of 19,300 GWh. Up to now, only 2% of the available potential is being exploited.
There are:

  • Four sites with a potential  exceeding 200 MW: Amaria (665 MW), Souapiti (515 MW), Koukoutamba (281 MW), and Kaleta (240 MW),
  • Three sites with a potential of 150 MW to 200 MW,
  • Ten sites with a potential of 100 to 150 MW,
  • Sixteen sites with a potential of 50 to 100 MW,
  • Forty-eight sites with a potential  of 10 to  50 MW,
  • Thirty-seven sites with a potential under 10 MW.
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Energy efficiency

Guinea’s energy situation is characterised by low energy consumption per inhabitant, less than half a ton of oil equivalent (toe). As with many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Guinea is heavily dependent on traditional biomass fuels and the efficient production of charcoal, in conjunction with the sustainable use of forest resources, is a concern to the country. The Electricity Sector Efficiency Improvement Project has been created, to improve quality of service and reduce losses.

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Electricity market
The Guinea State Electricity Company, EDG (Societe d'Etat d'Electricite de Guinee), is a limited company with public participation. It was created on the 16th June 2003 and is in charge of maintenance, rehabitation, renewal and development of works and operating equipment, as well as transport and distribution of power generation. It is a result of a merger of the National Electricity Company of Guinea, ENELGUI, and the Guinean electricity Operating company, Sogel. The Guinean State is the only shareholder. The company was originally created in a context of emergency for a transitional period.

The EDG currently operates in 24 districts of the country and produces 235.26MW of power, in which 224MW is interconnected, and 11.26 MW is in discrete locations.  The CBG (Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee) and the ACG (l'Aluminium Company of Guinea) sell electricity to EDG to provide power in the cities of Boke and Fria.

Besides the generation in the public domain, there is considerable private generation including the mining companies that self-generate most of their electricity needs. Such captive generation accounts for almost half of the electricity generation in Guinea. It is expected that rapid growth in the mining and aluminum sectors will drive future demand to 1,100MW by 2020, which will outstrip the ability of the mining companies to self-generate.

Liquid fuels market
The National Directorate of Hydrocarbons, part of the Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics,  has technical control of oil installations and are responsible for addressing the country’s need for oil products. The National Directorate of Energy (Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics) is responsible for the oil product sector, including consumption and import statistics and information on sector policies.

Oil imports are managed by the Importing Committee, consisting of representatives of oil companies, the ministries of commerce and finance from the Central Bank.

The storage of oil products is in the hands of the Guinean Oil Company (SGP). Transportation and distribution is performed by oil companies (Totalfinal, Shell and Petroguin) and by private Guinean companies.

The official retail prices are fixed by order of the Ministry of Commerce and Competitiveness.

The Ministry of Mines and Geology promotes the exploration of potential oil resources. Up to now, these activities have brought no results despite promising findings in bordering countries. At present, there are no proven oil reserves in Guinea.

Biomass sector
Two departments are directly involved in this sector, namely the Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics (MEH) for energy demand and the Ministry of Agriculture, Waters and Forests (MAWF) for supply.

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EDG is a vertically-integrated limited company with public participation. The state is the only share-holder. However, it is managed according to commercial laws. EDG is in charge of exploitation, maintenance, rehabilitation, renewal and the development of equipment used for electricity production, transport and distribution.  Outside Conakry, EDG supplies 24 districts within the country.

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Energy framework

Currently, there is no institutional framework for renewable energies (RE) but the sector is subject to energy regulation. Thus, the energy sector policy document of 1992 (LPDSE 92) can be considered the RE development policy framework, also referring to RE related institutional aspects. A new policy document (2008) is based on the new Electrification Master Plan resulting from major reforms in the energy sector.

The National Division of Water and Forestry (DNEF) is implementing several forestry programs. It promotes state controlled reforestation as well as community-based and private reforestation in order to enhance production. The DNEF established a forestry policy document in 1988, along with a six year Action Plan and Forestry Code which are the major forestry resources’ management tools. Updates are considered necessary on these policies.

The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), 2002, only considers the electric power sector in terms of basic infrastructures and accelerated economic growth. The current PRSP revision is an opportunity for the consideration and integration of all energy sub-sectors (not only the electricity sector) within the PRSP to cope with the demand for energy services and access in Guinea.

From 2003 to 2008, the Decentralised Rural Electrification Office (Bureau d’Électrification Rurale Décentralisée, BERD) ran a program to improve the rural population's access to modern energy services, through use of distributed generation systems.

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Energy debates

Irregular electricity supply is a principal structural bottleneck for Guinea’s near- to medium-term growth potential. A partnership with  the World Bank, the Agence Française de Développement and the International Monetary Fund is developing studies on the reform of the utilities, which would be completed by end-2011; priority is being given to the struggling electricity sector.

The Government plans to introduce a package of electricity-sector reforms which should create a framework for investment that will allow Guinea to harness an estimated 6,000MW of hydro- electric potential. Among the reforms, energy and environment minister El Hadj Papa Koly Kourouma says that Conakry has decided to split malfunctioning state utility Société d'Electricité de Guinée (SEG) into two companies: one to own the infrastructures and remain in charge of power generation, and a second firm to act as the buyer and distributor of electricity. The Government also plans to revise tariffs in line with World Bank recommendations. The SEG had not increased its tariffs for the last 12 years.

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Energy studies

Guinea is a member of the Energy Services Access Program within the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States). In September 2005, Order No 4545/MHE/SGG/200510 established the National Multisectoral Group (NMG). The objectives of the NMG:

  • Review existing institutional and strategic framework for energy services and poverty reduction.
  • Analyse the national energy status in order to define an energy service access vision for Guinea.
  • Define the long-term objectives for energy services access at the national level.
  • Assess necessary investments.
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Role of government

Forestry programmes are the responsibility of District Forestry Officers. Other cooperating institutions are relevant area-based NGOs, schools, other government ministries and departments, villagers or community-based organizations. In 2007, the Government planned to implement a forest development plan on a more community-based, decentralised approach. The plan involves providing greater economic and financial incentives for rural communities in the use and management of forest resources, including regulating and controlling wood charcoal exports and promoting the use of alternative energy sources.

The Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics (MEH) has overall responsibility for the energy sector. Sector management is shared with other ministerial departments :

  • The Ministry of Environment is in charge of water and forestry issues, thus playing an important role in the traditional domestic wood fuel (biomass) sector,
  • The Ministry of Mines and Geology is in charge of oil exploration ,
  • The Ministry of Commerce and Competitiveness manages the downstream hydrocarbon sector,
  • The Ministry of Economy and Finance has a role in all governmental actions in the energy sector.
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Government agencies

The National Directorate of Energy (Direction Nationale de l’Énergie – DNE) is responsible for defining and conducting the country’s energy related policy, except policy concerning hydrocarbons. The NDE comprises two divisions: the Energy Planning and Regulation Division, and the Renewable Energies Division. A third division (the Division of Electricity) is being planned.

The Energy Planning and Regulation Division comprises three sections: i) the Planning and Energetic Infrastructures Section, ii) the Regulation Section and iii) the Project Preparation Section. The Renewable Energies Division consists of four sections. Biofuels will be assigned to the Bioenergy Section in the course of the planned internal restructuring.

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Energy procedure

  • The Electricity Sector Efficiency Improvement Project

The World Bank is the implementing agency for a US$4.5 million grant, from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to fund a Guinea Electricity Sector Efficiency Improvement Project, co-financed by an International Development Association (IDA), approved in June 2006. The objective is to improve the commercial and operational efficiency of the electricity sector and reduce carbon dioxide emissions created by energy losses.

The GEF funding will:
(i) Co-finance distribution, network upgrading, and training,
(ii) Design energy efficiency and demand side management programs, and pilot initiatives such as efficient light bulbs and energy audits,
(iii)Oother technical assistance to Electricité de Guinée (EDG).

For the most part, implementation will target Kaloum commune in Conakry, the capital, with specific interventions in other communes, as opportunities arise.  The outcome of this pilot project will serve as the basis for the ongoing improvement of electricity service in other areas of Conakry and in the rest of the country.

Through the actions of the Bureau d’Électrification Rurale Décentralisée (BERD), ten consulting companies and around twenty electrification operators have been trained in renewable energy project implementation. The training projects included the electrification of ten sites through pico-diesel networks, and the electrification of three sites via installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems. The PV projects are organised in three service levels: two solar lights (30 Wp); two lights plus one alternating current socket (60 Wp); three lights plus one alternating current socket (90 Wp).

Guinea, due to its mountainous terrain and heavy rainfall, has substantial hydropower potential that can be economically harnessed. The West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) master plan study estimates that the country can develop over 100 sites, amounting to a total of 6,00OMW, well above the country’s projected demand growth. There is a real opportunity for Guinea to leverage the WAPP transmission network to sell electricity to neighbouring countries in the region and thus build the sector as a significant contributor to the economy. Transmission interconnections are in the advanced planning stage by the Organization for the Development of the Gambia River (OMVG) project, also comprising a development of the 210MW Kaleta hydroelectric plant in Guinea. Other potential hydro-power plants in Guinea are being analyzed by WAPP. These projects can significantly improve power availability and reliability in Guinea, assuming EDG can improve its capacity to deliver power efficiently to their clients.

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Energy regulator

The Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics (MEH) is in charge of the supervision, control and regulation of the sector. It defines and implements the energy policy and the structure of the tariffs.

The National Council for Electricity acts as consultative organ. It consists of representatives of several ministerial departments, delegates of the dealers, representatives of consumers and independent experts. The council is the instrument of mediation between the various actors of the electricity sector.

The Electricity Sector Regulatory Body was created in September 2005. It still lacks a clear definition of its mission.

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Degree of independence

The MEH is a direct subsidiary of the government, as is the National Council for Electricity.

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Regulatory framework

The legal base for the electricity sector has been established by the laws of 1993 and by Law L/98/012 of June 1st 1998 relating to the foundation, construction, operation, maintenance and transfer of production infrastructures. The first section of this law defines institutions in charge of the management of the sector as well as their respective roles. No specific renewable energy policy framework is in effect in the country.

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Regulatory roles

In Guinea, electric power tariffs are fixed by joint order of the Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics (MEH) and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The prices of different petroleum products are set for the whole country by decision of the Ministry of Commerce. The structure of prices is revised through the Economic and Financial Coordination Committee in its monthly technical support unit meeting.

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Energy regulation role

All regulations, incentives and legislative framework conditions are defined by the MEH and the Decentralised Rural Electrification Office (Bureau d’Électrification Rurale Décentralisée – BERD).

Currently the emphasis of the Decentralised Rural Electrification Office is on training activities for private players operating energy services at decentralised sites.

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Regulatory barriers

The lack of appropriate institutional framework is one of the major factors impairing the development of the renewable energy (RE) market. Approval of a new policy document (a LPDSE), taking into account the current reference frameworks (PSRP, MDGs, PDE, ECOWAS, etc.) would help to secure the sector’s future. In addition, the political stability of the country also represents a risk. The development of the RE market is constrained by several factors:

  • Institutional constraints: The energy sector’s institutional framework does not take RE into account. It is, however, expected that current development will overcome this barrier.
  • Financial constraints: Due to the lack of appropriate financing mechanisms, access costs for RE, namely solar, remain very high.
  • Fiscal constraints: Currently, there are no fiscal incentives supporting RE.
  • Socio-economic constraints: Overall income levels are low.
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UNDP (2011) ‘Country facts; Guinea’ in Tourism and Poverty Reduction Strategies in the Integrated Framework for LDCs. Available at [Accessed 6th September 2013]

IMF (2011): Guinea Staff Monitored Programme. Available at [Accessed 6th September 2013]

World Bank (2008): Project Appraisal Document: Electricity Sector Efficiency Improvement Project. Available at [Accessed 6th September 2013]

The Africa (2011): Guinea: Starting Over. Available at [Accessed 6th September 2013]

Africa Power Guide (2010): Guinea. Available at: [Accessed 6th September 2013] (2010): Guinea: Energy Profile. Available at [Accessed 6th September 2013]

International Renewable Energy Agency (2011) Renewable Energy County Profile: Guinea. Available at: [Accessed 6th September 2013]

IMF (2008) Guinea: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Available at: [Accessed 6th September 2013]

The World Bank (2008) World Bank Support for Electricity Sector Efficiency Improvement in Guinea through GEF Funding. Avaliable at: [Accessed 6th September 2013] Close References