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Electricity in Congo - Brazzaville in 2021

Global Ranking: #124
24.1% #118 Low-carbon electricity
78.64 watts #161 Generation / person
395.51 gCO2eq/kWh #89 Carbon Intensity
Net exporter Electricity imports

Despite vast natural resources, Congo - Brazzaville's electricity generation remains low in comparison to global averages. The total electricity consumption hovers around 78.64 watts per person, which is a far cry from the global average of 412 watts per person. The nation primarily relies on fossil fuels for power, with 59.66 watts per person - more than three-quarters of the total - coming from non-renewable sources like gas, which contributes 52.82 watts per person. While 18.97 watts per person, almost a quarter of the total production, is generated from low-carbon energy sources such as hydropower (17.61 watts per person) and biofuels (1.37 watts per person), this is still minimal compared to the scale of fossil consumption. The low levels of electricity generation restrict economic expansion, limit access to medical services and contribute to the country's environmental footprint. Despite this, Congo - Brazzaville maintains a surplus and exports electricity to neighbouring regions.


However, there is significant room for growth in Congo - Brazzaville's low-carbon electricity production. Lessons can be learned from countries with similar geographic conditions which have successfully leveraged their natural resources for power. For example, Norway and Denmark each generate significantly more power per person (336 watts and 369 watts, respectively) from wind energy. Other successful countries, like Sweden, Finland, and France, rely heavily on nuclear energy as a prime source of power, generating 559, 517, and 526 watts per person respectively. Similiarly, Congo - Brazzaville can explore expanding its low-carbon portfolio with wind and nuclear power and also could make better use of hydropower, which despite being the most widely used low-carbon source, it's potential is not fully utilised.


Congo - Brazzaville's history with low-carbon electricity is primarily dominated by hydropower, with sporadic fluctuations in the power generation through the decades. In the early 1980s, there was a gradual increase in hydropower generation, peaking at around 0.1 TWh. This trend persisted with minor fluctuations up until 1992, during which there was a slight decline. This pattern repeated in the late 90s, with a notable dip in 1999. However, the new millennium ushered in a period of recovery, with a rise back to 0.1 TWh in 2000 and an additional increase to 0.2 TWh in 2010. The last decade saw an extraordinary surge to 0.4 TWh in 2011, followed by smaller incremental increases in 2012 and 2015. Despite minor reductions towards the end of the decade, the general trajectory of hydropower in Congo - Brazzaville illustrates an overall increase in low-carbon electricity generation over time.

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1989 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 2000 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2001 to 2021 the data source is Ember.