In 2021, the average person in Equatorial Guinea used approximately 100 watts of electricity, significantly lower than the global average of 412 watts per person. Within this amount, about 70 watts came from fossil fuels, marking them as the primary source of power for the country. Low-carbon energy only attributes to around 30 watts per person, which is entirely generated through hydropower. Comparatively, this energy consumption is considerably lower than the global average, lengthening the developmental gap as electricity supports economic growth, healthcare, education, and other vital aspects of societal progress. Further, it could limit the country's capacity to transition to digital technologies and lower its residents' quality of life. Equatorial Guinea's electricity is entirely domestically produced, with no imports or exports from other countries or regions.
To increase low-carbon electricity generation, Equatorial Guinea can learn from countries like Sweden, France, and Finland who successfully generate over 500 watts per person through nuclear power. Despite the geographical and infrastructural differences, these successful models allow energy-hungry countries to see the potential for nuclear production. Following similarly to Uruguay or Denmark, which generate substantial energy through wind, Equatorial Guinea could leverage its coastal lands and gusty winds to establish wind farms. Similarly, being located near the equator, significant solar energy could also be harnessed like Australia to complement hydropower and diversify its low-carbon energy portfolio. Such diversification would not only increase total electricity generation but, more importantly, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and improve energy security.
Historically, Equatorial Guinea's low-carbon electricity generation has remained stagnant for several years. The country relied solely on hydropower, with no change in production from 1991 to 2002 and even 2008. Early signs of progress were only seen from 2012 onwards when there was a slight increase in the production rate, albeit by only 0.1 to 0.2 terawatt-hours per year. Unfortunately, this scale-up in hydropower production fluctuated and was inconsistent throughout the years, with periods of no change and occasional dips. Consequently, Equatorial Guinea's history of clean electricity production demonstrates slow growth, with no diversification into other low-carbon sources such as nuclear, solar, or wind energy. Moving forward, consistent efforts coupled with strategic investments in low-carbon alternatives supply sources will be crucial to trigger a robust shift away from fossil fuels.