Comoros (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 We decided to keep it online due to high demand but would like to make you aware of the fact that it might be outdated.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): 19.4 MW

Total primary energy supply (2008): 107.1 ktoe
Biomass: 58%
Oil and oil products: 41%
Hydroelectric: 0.4%
There are two main energy sources in the country: 
  • Plant and ligneous biomass, approximately 58% of national demand, are used for households (75%), ylang-ylang distillery (19%), and other activities (drying copra, lime carbonisation – 6%). Total annual production is estimated to be 96,700 tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE); 
  • Petroleum products, all imported, share 41% of the energy balance and are used for transport, electricity production, and household use, mainly in urban areas (where 29% of the population lives). 
  • Other energy sources (hydroelectricity, butane gas) have a negligible share (2%) of the Comorian household consumption.
Electricity production is chiefly based on thermal power plants. As of 2008, the country had an available capacity of 9.3 MW, with a baseload of 10 MW. The per capita consumption of electricity was 84 kWh in 2008. Total electricity generation in 2008 was 54.0 GWh.


Close Energy sources


Petroleum imports in 2009 were approximately 967 bbl/day, with consumption being roughly equal. There is no oil refinery in the country and as a result, all petroleum products including gasoline, jet fuel and kerosene have to be imported, mainly from the Emirates National Oil Company, UAE. Energy self-sufficiency in 2008 was estimated at 58.9%.

Close Reliance

Extend network

About 46% of the population have access to electricity, which is mostly derived from ageing and unreliable diesel turbines. On Grande Comore, 53.6% of the population have electric lighting while the proportion on Moheli is 28.4%, and on Anjouan, 22.6%. In 2010, the country acquired generation infrastructure that has allowed for constant, uninterrupted provision of power to the country, particularly the capital Moroni and its surrounding area. Close Extend network

Capacity concerns

Power supply is unreliable and was characterised by widespread shortages in 2008-09. The energy crisis struck the economic sectors and helped worsen an already severe economic crisis. New generating units were installed in Moroni during the summer of 2009, greatly reducing the frequency of power cuts. At the same time, works started in Anjouan to expand the power network. The utilities responsible for both areas currently still operate under capacity. Tariffs remain among the highest in Africa, exceeding those in Mauritius by 50% for businesses and 133% for households. Average electricity costs in 2008 were US$ 0.93/kWh. Efficiency gains are expected from the privatisation of the power utility. Over 40% of the electricity that is produced is lost to fraud, clandestine connections and technical defects. Consistent dependence on imported fuel, poor management of the parastatal utility, and a lack of a price equalisation, management and investment policy at a national level, have all constrained the operation of the Comorian energy sector. Close Capacity concerns

Renewable energy

Solar energy
The most viable option for the Comoros Islands is solar (photovoltaic) energy, as the Union receives eight hours of sunshine daily (2,880 hours/year) and, on average, 5.0 kWp/m2. Once used only as a backup for mail and telecommunications, civil aviation and police, in 1995, solar energy became available on a wider scale through World Bank funding for ENERCOM, a Comorian corporation, which has implemented some 100 installations on the three islands, yielding 10,000 WP for domestic and professional partners. Solar systems are also under consideration for many resort complexes seeking to improve the sustainability of their operations.

Wind energy
In 1985, two Kenyan Kijito wind turbines were installed in Ngazidja to drive groundwater pumps. One was installed on the eastern coast at Mtsangadju ya Dimani and the other on the northern coast at Wella. However, neither has provided the amounts of water initially estimated. A wind generator requires average annual wind speeds of at least 3 m/s, and data has shown that the island winds do not always reach this speed. 
Biomass energy
Oilseed plants such as coconut, sesame, peanut and Jatropha curcas (Barbados nut tree), grow in the Comoros. No in-depth studies have been conducted on these oilseeds, except dried coconuts, which are transformed into oil for local consumption. Studies could examine the use of Jatropha oil instead of diesel to power motors for vanilla preparation and aromatic plant distillation, and to replace kerosene in lighting. 
Geothermal energy
Geologically, the Comoros should have the potential to meet all its energy demands from its volcanic activity, many experts believe. The Australian Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) and New Zealand-based Gafo Energy are joining forces to map the Comorian potential for geothermal energy on three Comoros islands; Grand Comore, Moheli and Anjouan. Gafo will operate the power installations if potentials are as expected. Recent analysis by engineers from KenGen, the Kenyan national utility, indicate that both the Karthala and La Grille volcanoes on Grand Comore are indicative of a greater geothermal potential, with reservoir temperatures taken at both sites of up to 300ºC, at depths of 2,000m and deeper. Currently, the Comorian government is seeking funding for the establishment of a suitable institutional and organisational framework for exploitation of the resource.
The Comoros Islands have approximately 1 MW of installed hydroelectric capacity. While it is recognised that the country has further hydro-electric potential, additional studies are needed to fully assess its extent. The water resources of the country in general have not been assessed, and the creation of a national hydrographic and bathymetric service has been called for previously.
Close Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

The Directorate of Energy (MDE) has identified demand-side management (DSM) as a key factor for improving the efficiency of the electricity sector. However, few activities have been undertaken to date. Rehabilitation of the transmission and distribution network, as well as further utilisation of the islands' vast renewable energy potentials, are also factors to be considered in improving energy efficiency. Better management of the public sector organisations involved in the energy sector is also seen as a key factor in improving energy efficiency. Also, a number of actors in the tourism sector, a major contributor to the national economy, are voluntarily reducing their energy consumption and improving efficiency, partly to reduce costs, but also as a marketing strategy for their resorts. Close Energy efficiency


Electricity market
MAMWE is the state-owned utility, in charge of the generation and distribution of electricity on the islands of Grand Comore and Moheli. Electricité d’Anjouan (EDA) is responsible for the generation and distribution of electricity on the island of Anjouan.    

Oil and gas market
The country has no known oil or gas reserves and hence has no upstream sector. The National Society of Hydrocarbons, known as Comor Hydrocarbures, is a government-owned company with a monopoly over oil & gas imports in Comoros.
Close Ownership


MAMWE is a parastatal, vertically-integrated utility, with a monopoly on the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity on the islands of Grand Comore and Moheli, and also on the management of the water sector. EDA is also entirely owned by the government, and is vertically-integrated in its activities. Close Competition

Energy framework

The energy problems the country has been experiencing for a decade, brought to light the need for better biomass management, greater autonomy in terms of petroleum products, more effective production and distribution systems, and diversification of energy supply with sources such as solar, hydraulic, wind and geothermal energy.

To meet these challenges, the Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Paper (PRGSP) has adopted a priority program, to: 
(i) clarify and strengthen the institutional framework, and provide a strategy to improve energy management; 
(ii) strengthen energy storage, production, and distribution infrastructure; 
(iii) reduce technical and non-technical losses related to the production, distribution, and marketing of energy, through a national energy management and efficiency program.
In 2008, in collaboration with the UN-Energy inter-departmental program, a Renewable Energy Policy was created for the Comoros, including a review of the existing measures for energy development in the country, an assessment of the renewable energy potentials of the islands, and a market-based analysis for renewable energy development, taking into account local considerations for optimum planning goals.
Close Energy framework

Energy debates

In the context of the PRGSP, the state-owned MAMWE will be privatised in a gradual process through 2010-2012. The action plan for regulatory reforms in the electricity sector will take longer, with key new laws and institutions projected to become fully operational in 2013–2014. International organisations such as the IMF encourage national authorities to speed up reforms, given their role in infrastructure rehabilitation, such as the proposed national energy management and efficiency program, or the much needed increase in fuel storage capacities. Close Energy debates

Energy studies

The Comoros is member of the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA). This integration has resulted into the formulation of several regional projects, among them the East Africa Electricity Consortium, for the creation of a specialised institution to enhance electric interconnectivity between the region and the rest of Africa. Close Energy studies

Role of government

Formerly the responsibility of the DGTPEE, the French Treasury Department, the energy sector in the Comoros has suffered from a lack of co-ordination at a national level. To resolve this issue, a Ministry of Planning, Water and Energy was formed. The Ministry is responsible, amongst other tasks, for the regulation of the oil and natural gas sectors of the country.

The Environmental Directorate of the country is responsible for creating and implementing initiatives for the promotion of renewable energy.

Close Role of government

Government agencies

Both MAMWE and Electricité d’Anjouan (EDA) are government agencies. However, no dedicated agency for the promotion of renewable energy exists on the islands. The Global Sustainable Energy Islands Initiative, a grouping of NGOs and multi-lateral institutions, has been active in promoting the sustainable use of energy on the islands. Close Government agencies

Energy procedure

With assistance from the UNDP/World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP), the Comoros government ran a program that fostered a local market for solar equipment. The program identified an international group of solar companies that were granted a three-year period, during which they could import equipment and acquire export earnings free of taxes. The Comoros government pledged to grant these firms contracts for all public projects dealing with solar energy during the period, and also initiated a public awareness campaign to promote the off-grid use of solar power.
The potential to harness the enormous amount of geothermal energy contained in the volcanic Mount Karthala, located on the island of Grande Comore, is also to be exploited. 
The 2009 PRGSP sets out several proposals for the development of the energy sector in the country, including: the clarification of the regulatory and institutional framework for the energy sector, the preparation of a master plan for the energy sector, the establishment of an energy control program for biomass resources and environmental conservation, and the securing and strengthening of energy production and distribution, including improvements in the electricity access rate. In addition, in the near future, the country aims to increase the share of renewable energy, in produced energy or installed capacity, to 20%.
In addition, the UNDP/GEF has contributed to a project in collaboration with the Comorian Government to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels through increased development of renewable energy sources, including micro-hydroelectric facilities, community biogas facilities, and domestic solar thermal use. Implementation of the program began in June 2008.
Close Energy procedure

Energy regulator

MAMWE (Gestion de l’Eau et de l’Electricité aux Comores), the national utility company for Grand Comore and Moheli, and Electricité d’Anjouan (EDA), are responsible for regulation of the electricity sector, as well as their market activities. Close Energy regulator

Degree of independence

MAMWE and EDA are both state-owned and operated institutions, and are therefore not independent of the government.
Close Degree of independence

Regulatory framework

No regulatory framework for sustainable energy exists on the islands. The government is planning to implement a new regulatory framework for the electricity sector, in conjunction with the privatisation of MAMWE. Close Regulatory framework

Regulatory roles

MAMWE determines tariffs, standards of service, and procedures for the maintenance and extension of the electricity network, for its own operations. The EDA is self-regulating in its operations on Anjouan. Close Regulatory roles

Energy regulation role

No government department takes an active role in energy regulation, aside from the Ministry of Planning, which is responsible for regulating the activities of Comor Hydrocarbures in the sector. Close Energy regulation role

Regulatory barriers

The absence of a sectoral energy policy and strategy, insufficient capacity building for human resources and technology transfer, and disorganized biomass exploitation (wood – energy), are all factors affecting the environment for energy in the Comoros. In addition, the institutional and legislative framework for energy resource exploitation is particularly lacking. Developing a coherent national strategy for energy resource use, in particular the development of indigenous renewable energy resources, would greatly reduce the country’s dependence on fuel imports, and therefore contribute both environmentally and economically to the country’s development. Close Regulatory barriers


Nadhoim, I. (2008) "Geothermal potential of the Comoro islands", ARGeo C2 Conference, Uganda, November 24-28 2008. Available at: [Accessed 28 July 2013]

IRENA Renewable Energy Country Profile: Comoros, 2010. [Accessed 28 July 2013]

IndexMundi: "Comoros oil - imports - energy". [Accessed 28 July 2013]

African Economic Outlook: "Comoros". [Accessed 28 July 2013]

AFDB (2011) "Union of the Comoros country strategy paper". Available at: [Accessed 28 July 2013] "Comoros and Moheli", 2011. [Accessed 28 July 2013]

International Hydrographic Organisation (2010) "Comoros". Available at: [Accessed 28 July 2013]

MBendi: "Oil and gas in Comoros - overview". [Accessed 28 July 2013]

UN-Energy Knowledge Network: "Renewable energy policy in the Comoros", 2008. Available at: [Accessed 28 July 2013]

IMF (2010) "Union of the Comoros poverty reduction and growth strategy paper". Available at: [Accessed 28 July 2013]

UNDP (Comoros) (n.d.) "Efficiency in energy supply and local renewable energy". Available at: (Translated with Google Translate) [Accessed 28 July 2013] Close References