Yaoundé IV is one of the seven communes of Yaoundé (Cameroon), with an estimated 793,000 inhabitants in 2018 spread over an area of around 59 square kilometres. Yaoundé IV is primarily a service-oriented city, with a major informal economy that includes unlicensed street vendors (locally referred to as “sauveteurs”) and small neighbourhood boutiques. This translates to a low annual economic output (GDP) of around USD 1,632 per capita, comparable to the Sub-Saharan African average of USD 1,585 per capita.

Renewable energy (exclusively from hydropower) makes up 73% of the power generation mix in both Cameroon and Yaoundé IV, with oil and gas constituting the remaining 27%. Based on the national Economic Emergence Plan 2035, the country has ambitions to deploy increasing amounts of renewable energy, particularly hydropower and solar PV, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2035.

The city aims to increase renewable energy, installing 3,000 solar street-lights and distributing

3,600 solar kits

to poor households.

Although the national government does not allow municipalities to undertake electricity generation and distribution projects, a number of decrees provide local authorities with the ability to receive technical and financial support towards climate action.

Yaoundé IV’s residential sector is the second most energy-intensive sector (accounting for 30% of total final energy consumption) after transport (35%). An estimated 86% of households cook and heat their water with LPG, which represents 51% of the total residential final energy use. Household electricity consumption averages 507 kWh per capita per year, above the national average of 280 kWh, and is used mostly for lighting and water heating services.

As a signatory city of the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa, Yaoundé IV in 2020 adopted its short-term energy and climate action plan (Plan d’Action Communal en faveur d’un Accès à une Energie Durable et du Climat, or PACAEDC), which sets out the municipality’s ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy access by 2030. As part of the plan, the city aims to increase the renewable energy share through multiple cross-sectoral actions, such as installing 3,000 solar streetlights in the 65 neighbourhoods, installing distributed rooftop solar PV on 30 municipal buildings, distributing 3,600 solar kits to poor households and incentivising increased adoption of electric motorcycles (to 5% by 2030, running mostly on electricity from the hydropower-dominant grid).

Motivated by studies suggesting that switching to biogas to offset just 20% of household LPG use could reduce residential greenhouse gas emissions by more than 12%, the municipality (through the PACAEDC) rolled out a demonstration project in 2019 to build nine micro biogas plants, each with a capacity of 20 cubic metres. As of 2020, six of the systems were operational, meeting the cooking energy demand of 135 low-income households with biogas. The success of the project has paved the way for similar programmes, notably ENERGIE PLUS, a municipal energy programme which in collaboration with relevant national entities and international donors seeks to build an industrial-scale biogas plant to supply electricity to Yaoundé IV and its environs.

Source: See endnote 101 through 114 in the Feature: Renewable Energy in Sub-Saharan African Cities chapter.