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Electricity in French Polynesia in 2021

Global Ranking: #84
32.9% #101 Low-carbon electricity
262.82 watts #117 Generation / person
449.17 gCO2eq/kWh #112 Carbon Intensity
None Electricity imports

In 2021, French Polynesia reported a total electricity consumption of approximately 263 watts per person, which is significantly lower than the global average of 412 watts per person. Fossil fuels constituted over two-thirds of this consumption with 176.47 watts per person, leaving low-carbon sources to make up for the remaining third, with 86.36 watts per person. More than three-quarters of the low-carbon energy was generated by hydropower, contributing 67.58 watts per person, while solar power contributed the remaining part with 18.77 watts per person. French Polynesia is relatively isolated, thus neither imports nor exports electricity. The comparatively low levels of electricity generation, especially from low-carbon sources, could be leading to lower economic productivity and quality of life, and contributing to higher levels of carbon emissions and environmental degradation.


Considering that French Polynesia has similar climatic conditions to several successful countries in low-carbon energy generation, there are potent lessons it could draw from these nations. Australia, well-known for its solar energy production of 147 watts per person, could serve as an inspiration to strategically leverage French Polynesia's sunny weather for more widespread and efficient solar power generation. Moreover, looking to countries successful in harnessing wind power, such as Denmark, Ireland, and New Zealand, who produce 369, 258, and 71 watts per person, respectively, could provide insights for optimizing French Polynesia's costal winds. However, it's worth noting that nuclear energy, a clean and reliable source of power that is often overlooked, is a significant contributor to low-carbon electricity in many countries. For instance, France, Sweden, and Finland generate 526, 559, and 517 watts per person, respectively, from nuclear energy, far surpassing French Polynesia's current total energy generation.


Historically, French Polynesia has primarily relied on hydro and solar power for its low-carbon electricity generation, with the former being the main contributor. The early 2000s saw no significant change in hydro-electric generation until 2010, when there was a slight increase of 0.1 TWh, though it was offset by a slight decrease the subsequent year. The development of solar power generation appears to have stagnated since its introduction in 2011, with no significant changes reported. Interestingly, the first couple of years of the 21st century did not see any decreases in low-carbon electricity generation. Rather, the period was marked by stagnation and subtle fluctuations, indicating that efforts to augment clean energy production have been lackluster, with significant room for further exploration and expansion in the fields of nuclear, wind, and solar energy. Overall, while some progress is evident, much more needs to be done to elevate French Polynesia's green energy sector to global standards and to secure a sustainable future for the region.

Data Sources

The data source is Ember.