In 2021, Burkina Faso's electricity consumption was derived primarily from fossil fuels, reaching 1.52 TWh. The nation also heavily relied on imported electricity, at 1.06 TWh. It's important to note that this total energy consumption is notably low in comparison to the global average of 410 watts per person. This low energy generation could lead to implications such as limited economic growth and hindered socio-economic development. Furthermore, the majority dependency on fossil fuel energy sources not only contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, but also reveals Burkina Faso's lack of low-carbon energy usage.
In order to increase its generation of low-carbon electricity, Burkina Faso can look to strategies implemented by other countries. For example, the People's Republic of China and the United States have made significant strides in producing electricity through wind and nuclear sources, respectively, exceeding hundreds of TWh. India and Brazil have also successfully harnessed solar and wind energy, reaching higher than 90 TWh. Burkina Faso may consider investing in these types of low-carbon technologies, encouraging research and development, and initiating policies that promote clean and sustainable energy use.
Burkina Faso has a history of limited low-carbon electricity generation. Although there was some marginal growth in hydroelectric power generation in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were several years where no increase was observed. From 1999 to 2016, hydroelectric power generation only increased twice - in 1996 and again in 2016 - by mere 0.1 TWh. The past decade, however, has seen the introduction of solar power to Burkina Faso's energy mix, albeit at a minimal increase of 0.1 TWh. This suggests the potential for growth in low-carbon sources, particularly solar, in the nation's future. It is vital for Burkina Faso to make significant investments for enhancing its low-carbon energy capacity.