International Energy Studies Group
Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division




With an average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of over 5%, African economies are well poised to triple their energy consumption in the next few decades.

IES researchers work to provide the best international experience in energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) development across the African continent, therefore contributing to reducing energy poverty, mitigating pollution, and enhancing job creation and sustainable development.

IES developed comprehensive analytical tools and studies of energy to assist government agencies and implementers to choose cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy as first options to meet growing energy demands.

This includes:

  • Performing cost-benefits analysis
  • Organizing and conducting workshops on policy best practices
  • Producing tools to model future energy consumption and alternative scenarios


The Uganda Energy Efficiency Roadmap is a project funded by USAID to build on the on-going programs of both Power Africa and SE4All in Uganda to raise the opportunities for electricity savings through energy efficiency programs. The project will build on the Energy Efficiency component of the SE4All Action Agenda by providing more in-depth treatment of the electricity efficiency opportunities, outlining a concrete pathway for the implementation of energy efficeicny programs.

The project will (1) assess the technical electricity savings potential, (2) identified policies and programs that allow to realize this potential and (3) engage with stakeholders to implement program and policies identified. One of the objectives of this project is to promote the multiple benefits of energy efficiency in the following areas: reducing costs of power generation, distribution and use, reducing pollution and emissions, and enhancing the benefits on the local economy.

The US Lawrence Berkeley National laboratory (LBNL) and the International consultant group ICF are partnering in this project to provide their experience and lead the realization of the project.


Electric motor systems are estimated to account for approximately 65% of the electricity consumption and have been evaluated as a high priority equipment in terms of expanding minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) programs in Egypt.

LBNL is currently developing a scenario analysis and policy roadmap for the implementation of Standards and Labeling program for motors in Egypt. The analysis includes a market assessment, engineering and the techno-economic analysis to support the implementation of the standards. Impacts are provided for a set of efficiency levels ranking from Egypt current baseline to the best available technologies, considering the harmonization of MEPS for motors in the EU as a specific scenario.

South Africa

LBNL provides technical assistance and strategic advice to the Republic of South Africa's Department of Energy with the implementation of that country's appliance energy efficiency standards and labeling (EES&L) and with the design of incentive programs.

Major contrbutions include:

  • Energy Savings Estimates - Using BUENAS, an LBNL modeling platform, IES researchers provided estimates of energy savings potentials for each appliance type covered by the program.
  • Baseline Study - Working with Unlimited Energy and Enervee in a project commissioned by South Africa DOE, LBNL performed an analysis of market data collected from online retailers through "web crawling" in order to establish the efficiency baseline of South Africa's appliance market. By comparing current efficiency levels to those required by minimum energy performance standards announced in 2014, LBNL performed an assessment of energy savings impacts expected from the program, and contributed to the framework for ongoing market tracking.
  • Technical Cost-Benefit Analysis for Water Heaters in South Africa - Working with Stellenbosch University and Unlimited Energy, LBNL conducted a cost-benefit analysis of electric water heater standby loss reduction, and contributed to product testing and tear-down analysis. This study provided key inputs to stakeholder dialog surrounding proposed minimum energy performance standards, leading to a revised standard likely to save the country 3.8 TWh in 2030.
  • Incentive program workshop - LBNL organized a stakeholder workshop entitled "International Best Practices for Incentives programs" in August 2014, to inform decision-makers in South Africa and other African countries about successful policy approaches and how these may be implemented in, or adapted to, their national programs.

Current distribution of efficiency levels of refrigerators in 2011, 2014, and 2015 (projected)

Past Collaborations

LBNL, in collaboration with the IEA, organized a workshop in South Africa on Energy Efficiency Indicators in June 2008. Based on this workshop, LBNL worked with Energy Cybernetics of South Africa to develop energy efficiency indicators for the country. This experience, combined with the experience in two other major economies, India and Mexico, was used to develop methodologies for better accounting of energy efficiency in emerging economies.


Ghana Energy Efficiency LabelLBNL has collaborated with Ghana's Energy Commission on appliance energy efficiency since 1999. This collaboration led to the implementation of the first energy efficiency standards and labeling (EES&L) program in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2001. The legislation covered minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for room air conditioners and product labeling. Supported by LBNL technical assistance, Ghana's appliance efficiency program demonstrates a successful model and leadership to other countries in the region seeking to improve product efficiency.

LBNL's collaboration with Ghana's Energy Commission has grown over the years, notably with recent support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). In this project, LBNL assisted MCC in the preparation of its second compact with Ghana by:

  • Defining energy efficiency and demand side management (EE/DSM) programs in consultation with MCC, MiDA, Ghana Energy Commission and local stakeholders.
  • Evaluating potential impacts and prioritizing EE/DSM programs unsing a cost-benefit analysis.
  • Preparing procurement plans and other documents to assist implementation of the Compact such as budget plans and draft scopes of work.

This assignment allowed MCC to include an investment of $25.4 million in energy efficiency and demand side management (EE/DSM) as part of the Power Compact II in Ghana. Proposed and selected EE/DSM activities in the Ghana Compact include development and enforcement of standards and labels, energy auditing, public-awareness campaign and pilot project to introduce distributed applications like solar photovoltaic backup power for lighting and electronics, off-grid solar systems, and grid-connected solar systems.

Currently, LBNL is continuing to work with MCC and the Ghana Energy Commission to assist in the implementation of the EE/DSM project.


In Benin, LBNL assisted MCC in developing an investment plan for Demand Side Management (DSM), Energy Efficiency (EE), and Distributed Generation (DG) for its new compact on the Power Sector.

  • EE/DSM/DG Portfolio of program activities: LBNL developed a portfolio of EE/DSM/DG programs, policy, and technology options based on the country's capacity to implement the proposed program(s) and market barriers identified. LBNL worked with government institutions and partners in Benin to determine which measures and programs are the most appropriate and effective for the particular national, institutional, and socio-economic context of Benin. LBNL also identified policy reforms and other institutional arrangements required for a successful implementation.
  • Off-grid products development: In addition to analyzing the opportunities for energy efficiency, LBNL assessed the potential for off-grid products development. The penetration of solar lanterns and solar home systems (SHS) is expected to grow rapidly in Africa. LBNL proposed activities to enable this growth to accelerate and amplify in Benin through market enabling activities and product quality certification. LBNL also assessed the opportunity presented by energy efficient products used in SHS system for increasing energy access.
  • Cost-Benefits analysis: LBNL developed a rigorous and transparent benefit-cost modeling that MCC used to make effective choices for funding/program priorities, which are consistent with MCC's institutional objectives and investment criteria (i.e., ERR). LBNL also provided recommendations to MCC of the most effective strategies and implementation arrangements in order to achieve the objectives of the compact.

This collaboration contributed to include activities in MCC Compact to advance energy efficiency measures in the public sector and private marketplace, to allow policy reforms that seek to change energy use behavior through consumer education about energy efficiency and to accelerate an enabling environment for off-grid electricity.


LBNL supported the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy initiative by estimating the potential energy savings that would result from regional standards and labeling policies. Initial analysis suggested that the ECOWAS region could save more than 60 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year by 2030 by adopting best practice efficiency standards for primary appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, lighting, and other equipment. To put this into perspective, 60 TWh is nearly as much electricity as was consumed by the entire ECOWAS region in 2011.

Africa Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC)

LBNL is assessing high-quality wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), and concentrated solar power (CSP) resources in 21 countries* in the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) and Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) through a project with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This study will support countries from the Africa Clean Energy Corridor (ACEC) in their ability to identify low-regret renewable energy development options that satisfy multiple stakeholder concerns. This capability is crucial for countries with limited financial and institutional resources for energy planning and development.

* Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Counterparts and collaborators:

Ghana's Energy Commission, Ghana
South Africa Department of Energy, South Africa
Unlimited Energy Resources, South Africa
University of Pretoria, South Africa
North-West University, South Africa
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Energy Cybernetics, South Africa
ECREEE, West Africa
Direction Générale de l'Energie, Benin

United States Department of Energy
Millennium Challenge Corporation
International Energy Agency
International Renewable Energy Agency

Related Publications:


McNeil, Michael A., Theo Covary, and John Vermeulen. "Water Heater Technical Study to Improve MEPS – South Africa." In 8th International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting. Luzern, Switzerland, 2015. Download: PDF (445.03 KB)


Johnson, Alissa K., James D. Lutz, Michael A. McNeil, and Theo Covary. "An international Survey of Electric Storage Tank Water Heater Efficiency and Standards." In Southern African Energy Efficiency Convention 2013. Johanesburg, South Africa, 2013. Download: PDF (390.22 KB)