This chapter presents a summary of the biomass resource studies: Angola has a potential for electricity generation based on biomass and MSW of 3.7 GW spread over 42 projects. From these 3.3 GW are forestry related.

The evaluation of the biomass energy resource for Angola’s territory was done through autonomous studies and analysis for each of the main biomass resources, namely:
• Forestry residues and energy crops;
• Agro-food industry residues (with focus on sugar cane);
• Residues from farming activities;
• Municipal solid waste (MSW).


The resource potential study for forestry residues was based on the estimation of the average annual increment of biomass per hectar for similar eco zones in other geographies, rainfall index, slope and the distribution of tree cover as per LANDSAT satellite images.
The forest biomass energy potential atlas resulted from the combination of the aggregate potential from accessible biomass – considering access, rivers, slopes, protected areas and settlements – in a radius of 50 km.

Annual accessible increment

Forest energy potencial > 50 MW


The resource potential study for sugar cane plantations was based on the identification of large contiguous areas with at least 10.000 ha with limited slope, without environmental restrictions and high potential for irrigation. The sugar cane energy potential atlas resulted from the combination of the aggregate of the identified areas for sugar cane plantation – considering typical ratios of energy generation per ha, including the usage of leaves – in a radius of 20 km.


The evaluation of the energy potential from agricultural and livestock waste was done on an aggregate basis at the provincial level based on the available statistics for 2010/11 published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and fishing.


The evaluation of the energy potential of municipal solid waste was based on population data and on existing studies that quantify MSW quantities per capita and its energy content.

Favorable areas for sugar cane

Power generation potential from sugar cane

42 sites favorable for the installation of biomass projects were identified, either in locations with projects planned or ongoing, or in new locations identified based on the atlas of the potential and on the proximity to roads, main villages and to the electric network expected by 2017.
Despite these sites present a maximum potential aggregate resource of 3.7 GW, it only was considered and studied one project for each location with power adjusted to the resource and technology. In the case of planned or in progress projects the planned and announced power capacity was maintained.
In total, 1.5 GW of projects were studied, divided by different technologies:
• Forest biomass: 32 projects with a capacity of 1130 MW;
• Sugar cane: 8 projects with a capacity of 250 MW;
• Municipal Solid Waste: 2 projects with a capacity of 120 MW.

In terms of geographical distribution there is a high potential in the province of Benguela due to the Alto Catumbela project of 180 MW, provided under the hydrothermal project. In addition, the provinces of Malanje (where Biocom is), Lunda Norte, Moxico, Huila, Huambo and Luanda (MSW) also have high potential.

Biomass potential - gráfico

For the identified projects the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) was calculated. This calculation was based on production values and investment costs typical for the technology and the distance of each location to the network. The most competitive projects, with levelized costs from 75 USD/MWh, are the municipal solid waste (MSW) projects, because the waste supply – given the benefits associated with incineration - was considered free of charge.

In terms of forest biomass, the hydrothermal project locations have lower logistics costs due to the exploiting of existing forest exploration areas. The remaining forest biomass projects have higher costs between 150 and 250 USD/MWh. Energy production based on waste from sugar production
has intermediate costs between the RSU’s or hydrothermal project’s and the remaining forest biomass projects.
The production of energy from biomass, other than MSW, implies higher variable costs associated with the logistics of extraction and transportation of raw materials. Therefore, the levelized cost of energy for biomass tends to be less sensitive to changes in the average cost of capital than other renewable projects.

Levelized cost of energy of biomass projects - gráfico

Biomass Potential Atlas - legendas e mapas