The state of electricity consumption in Congo - Kinshasa in 2021 was considerably low, with only around 13 watts per person being produced, well below the global average of 412 watts per person. The majority of the electricity generated in Congo - Kinshasa is from low-carbon energy, with hydropower accounting for almost all of it, at 13.09 watts per person. In stark contrast, fossil fuel-based and solar power energy only contribute 0.04 watts and 0.01 watts per person respectively, to the total electricity consumption. The low levels of electricity generation, particularly low-carbon energy, can hinder the country's development as electricity is vital for various sectors; ranging from the health sector, industries, to commerce. Additionally, with more than 1.6% of Congo - Kinshasa's electricity consumption being met through net imports, it underscores the need for the country to boost its internal electricity generation, particularly low-carbon electricity, to be self-sufficient and perhaps even become an exporter of clean energy.
Given the precedent of success from other countries harnessing various forms of low-carbon electricity, Congo - Kinshasa can find beneficial insights to increase its low-carbon electricity generation. The country seems to have potential for hydropower generation, however expanding into nuclear, wind, and solar power could offer more sustainable energy options. Taking inspiration from similar tropical countries, Australia, for instance, produces 147 watts per person from solar energy, while countries like Uruguay and Spain generate around 160 and 149 watts per person respectively from wind energy. Nuclear energy also presents numerous potential benefits. For example, Sweden, France, and Finland generate over 500 watts per person from nuclear energy, demonstrating its effectiveness as a reliable low-carbon energy source. Therefore, diversifying Congo's energy sources with the inclusion of more wind, solar, and nuclear energy could significantly increase the country's total low-carbon electricity generation, whilst also reducing reliance on imports.
The history of low-carbon electricity in Congo - Kinshasa, particularly through hydropower, has seen both cumulative progress and some setbacks over the last decades. In the late 1980s and early '90s, there were increases in hydropower generation, with rises of 0.4 and 0.6 TWh, but also a couple of declines, particularly in 1991. Progress in increasing hydropower generation persisted in the late '90s despite some annual reductions. The most notable boon occurred in 2018 with an increase of 1.1 TWh. However, in recent years, a significant decline was observed in 2021, with a decrease of 0.9 TWh. This volatility in hydroelectric generation highlights the necessity of diversifying Congo's energy portfolio to include other low-carbon energy sources such as wind, solar, and especially nuclear energy. By doing so, the country could ensure a steady growth of clean, low-carbon electricity for its population.