Congo - Kinshasa is currently reliant on low-carbon, specifically hydropower, to generate its electricity. In 2021, the country generated 11 TWh of electricity, virtually all of which came from hydropower. The difference in electricity consumed per person compared to the global average is significant, as the global average is 410 watts/person. The lower than average electricity generation rates may have implications such as limited industrial activity and hampering essential services like healthcare and education.
To boost its low-carbon electricity generation, Congo - Kinshasa could learn from and adopt models from countries that have successfully integrated and exploited various sources of low-carbon electricity. For instance, China and the United States have effectively harnessed wind, while Brazil, a country with a similar geographical makeup, generates significant electricity from wind power. Integrating these strategies, alongside further advancing hydropower — considering the Congo River is one of the world’s largest rivers — could drive more sustainable, low-carbon electricity generation in Congo - Kinshasa.
The history of low-carbon electricity in Congo - Kinshasa has been characterized by a consistent reliance on hydropower since the mid-1980s. With insignificant changes in electricity generation, there were a number of years where production either slightly increased, for instance with a 0.4 TWh surge in 1985, or decreased slightly, such as in 1991 and 1997 when generation reduced by 0.4 TWh and 1.1 TWh respectively. More recent years have seen a rise with an increase of 1.1 TWh in 2018. However, in 2021 there was a notable regression in hydropower generation, with a drop of 0.9 TWh compared to the previous year — a fact that must be addressed if the country is to boost its clean energy capacity and maintain electricity stability.