LowCarbonPower logo

Electricity in Burundi in 2022

Global Ranking: #114
54.3% #57 Low-carbon electricity
4.18 watts #209 Generation / person
266.35 gCO2eq/kWh #55 Carbon Intensity
21.7% net imports Electricity imports

Burundi's current state of electricity consumption sits significantly below the global average at around 4 watts per person in comparison to the average of 412 watts per person. Over half of this electricity is derived from low-carbon sources with hydroelectric power making up the majority at just over 2 watts per person, while solar and biofuels each contribute a marginal amount of under 0.1 watts per person each. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, account for about 1 watt per person. The low levels of electricity generation raise concerns over infrastructural development and economic growth, affecting quality of life and potentially limiting industries that rely heavily on electric power. Furthermore, it is noteworthy to mention that a substantial 22% of Burundi's electricity consumption is supplemented by net imports.


To increase the amount of low-carbon electricity generation, Burundi could learn from and draw inspiration from other countries. For instance, many European and Latin American countries like Denmark, Sweden, Uruguay, and Portugal have made remarkable strides in harnessing wind power. Given Burundi's average annual wind speed of 4m/s at a height of 10m above ground level, this could be a potential area of expansion. Additionally, countries like Australia and Chile have shown success in utilising solar power. However, considering Burundi's economic context, a more pragmatic starting point could be the augmentation of hydroelectric power, similar to Slovenia and Austria's efforts. The fact that nuclear power has been fruitfully utilized by countries such as Sweden and France signifies it as a sustainable low-carbon energy source to be contemplated.


The history of low-carbon electricity development in Burundi has been stagnant with no significant progress made for more than two decades. From the early 1990s to the late 2000s, hydropower remained the sole component of the country's low-carbon electricity generation with no advancements in this sector. The first signs of diversification in the low-carbon energy landscape appeared in 2013 with the introduction of biofuels. In 2016, solar energy was introduced into the mix. However, this diversification did not coincide with an increase in electricity generation until a minor rise in hydropower generation was observed in 2019. After this increase, the upward trend again plateaued, leaving Burundi's low-carbon energy generation at a standstill. This stagnation underscores the importance of intensifying efforts towards augmenting low-carbon electricity generation in the country.

Data Sources

For the years 1988 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 2022 the data source is Ember.