According to EIA’s international electricity statistics, hydroelectric and fossil fuel-powered generation were the top sources of growth between 2005 and 2015 in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), defined as the 49 countries fully or partially south of the Sahara Desert. During that period, hydroelectric generation increased by about 40% in the region, while fossil fuel-powered generation increased by 15%. SSA electricity generation totaled about 420 billion kilowatthours (kWh) in 2015, including distribution losses and exported electricity, an increase of 22% during the decade.

Most of this growth occurred in nations other than South Africa. Although South Africa accounted for more than half of all generation in the region in 2015, its electricity generation only grew 1% during the previous decade. South Africa primarily uses fossil fuels for electricity generation, and bituminous coal accounted for more than 90% of its domestic electricity generation between 2005 and 2015, according to the International Energy Agency.

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