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Electricity in Burkina Faso in 2021

Global Ranking: #152
8.2% #156 Low-carbon electricity
14.51 watts #194 Generation / person
516.36 gCO2eq/kWh #146 Carbon Intensity
37.7% net imports Electricity imports

The current state of electricity consumption in Burkina Faso reveals a stark contrast with the global average of 412 watts per person. With the total consumption only amounting to approximately 15 watts per person, the majority of the energy arises from fossil fuels—around 8 watts per person—while the low-carbon energy sources contribute to an approximate 1.2 watts per person. This primarily includes solar and hydroelectric power, which both contribute almost equal parts. The overall low levels of electricity generation compared to the global average suggest potential hindrances in socio-economic development, possibly impacting education, healthcare, and general quality of life among the population. To supplement their domestic electricity generation, Burkina Faso imports a considerable amount of electricity, which accounts for about 38% of the nation's consumption.


To expand its low-carbon electricity generation, Burkina Faso could take a leaf out of the books of countries with successful low-carbon energy programs. Sweden, France, and Finland, for example, have impressive nuclear energy figures topping 500 watts per person. However, considering Burkina Faso's geographic and socio-economic context, a more reasonable comparison might be with countries like Uruguay, which generates about 160 watts from wind power, and Australia, which generates around 147 watts per person from solar energy. Both examples indicate potential for bolstering clean energy production in Burkina Faso.


An overview of Burkina Faso's low-carbon electricity history shows an emphasis on hydroelectric power since the late 1990s, with occasional nominal increases in generation. Solar energy entered into the mix in 2010 but struggled to contribute significantly to the energy portfolio until 2018, when generation increased marginally in comparison to previous years. Over these years, while there was hardly any decline in hydroelectric power generation, there also was not any considerable growth. Thus, the trend in low-carbon energy in Burkina Faso appears to be a slow and steady addition of hydroelectricity, complemented recently by solar, but without any substantial increments to truly elevate the overall low-carbon generation capacity.

Data Sources

For the years 1981 to 1989 the data source is EIA.
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data sources are EIA and Enerdata (imports/exports).
For the years 2000 to 2021 the data source is Ember.