In Equatorial Guinea, electricity consumption is currently extremely low with the only source of low-carbon electricity being hydroelectric power which contributes minuscule amounts, while fossil fuels substantially power the rest. Comparatively, the power consumption per person is well below the global average of 410 watts/person. This clearly indicates a highly limited access to electricity across the country. Such low levels of electricity generation and consumption might be taking a toll on the economic development and overall quality of life of the population. As well as this, the predominant reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change.
To pave the path towards a cleaner, low-carbon future, Equatorial Guinea could look to increase its electricity generation from low-carbon sources such as nuclear, wind, and solar power. Countries with similar geographical and economic conditions have leveraged these sources to a great advantage. For instance, Brazil has successfully harnessed wind power to generate 94 TWh and solar power to generate 50 TWh of electricity. Equatorial Guinea, being a coastal country like Brazil, could similarly tap into the abundant wind and solar possibilities. Furthermore, investing in nuclear energy like Brazil, which has generated 15 TWh of nuclear electricity, could also be a viable option.
Turning to the history of low-carbon electricity in Equatorial Guinea, the focus has predominantly been on hydroelectric power. However, the journey has been slow and not without hurdles. Since the early 1990s till 2011, the nation saw virtually no generation of hydroelectricity. It was only in 2012 that a slight progress was seen with a generation of 0.1 TWh. The succeeding years saw a slow but inconsistent uptrend with minor dips in production in 2017 and 2019. Overall, while it can be said that there has been a slow inclusion of hydroelectricity in the country's power grid in the 21st century, the progress, undoubtedly, has been unsteady, uneven and not nearly enough.