In 2021, the average person in Eswatini consumed nearly 159 watts of electricity, which is significantly less than the global average of 412 watts per person. Of this, almost 67 watts per person came from low-carbon sources, with the majority being generated by biofuels followed by hydropower. Fossil fuels were used to generate a very small portion of the electricity, amounting to just under 4 watts per person. This level of electricity generation, which is far below the global standard, poses a range of issues. These may include limitations in industrial development, challenges in providing public services, and a lower quality of life for individuals. It's worth noting that over half of the energy consumed in Eswatini is imported, suggesting a dependency on external sources for energy needs.
In order to increase their low-carbon electricity generation, Eswatini could look to similar countries that have been successful in this area. For instance, Uruguay has successfully harnessed wind power to generate 160 watts per person, which is a clean and sustainable resource Eswatini could also consider as it continues to expand its energy portfolio. Additionally, Australia has taken advantage of its sunny climate to generate 147 watts per person from solar power – a strategy that could hold promise for Eswatini due to its own sunny climate and would reduce its dependency on import.
Looking at the historical data on low-carbon electricity in Eswatini, it is clear that there has been a relative stability in its production with minor changes across two decades. In the early 2000s, biofuel generation increased slightly by 0.4 TWh, but this didn't change over the following year. Meanwhile, hydroelectric power experienced minor fluctuations over time, with reductions in some years such as 2003, 2014, and 2015, and slight increases in others like 2005, 2017, and 2018. Over the past 20 years, the change in biofuel and hydroelectric power generation has been relatively limited, signifying that there hasn't been a significant shift towards these forms of low-carbon energy. This historical trend underscores the potential for Eswatini to increase its capacity for low-carbon energy production and move towards cleaner, more sustainable sources.