In Gabon, the total electricity consumption per person is significantly below the global average, scoring only 138.48 watts per person as compared to the global norm of 412 watts per person. Fossil fuels generate almost half of this electricity, with a contribution of 61.92 watts per person. The remainder is primarily low-carbon energy, with hydropower being the primary contributor at 48.76 watts per person. Biofuels contribute to a small extent, providing just under one watt per person. Unfortunately, the lower levels of energy production in Gabon might be hindering its socio-economic growth, as energy consumption is often directly linked with development. It's worth noting that Gabon's domestic energy production is complemented by net imports of electricity, which represent almost a fifth of its total electrical consumption.
Reviewing other countries' success in low-carbon electricity generation could provide valuable strategies for Gabon to elevate its own clean energy production. A handful of countries share similarities with Gabon in terms of geography, economy, or capacity, and their successes could serve as important examples. For instance, Uruguay, a country with a comparable size, has been successful in leveraging wind power to generate 160 watts/person. Denmark, another small yet efficient country, has been successful in generating 369 watts/person from wind energy. Unlike the aforementioned countries, Gabon's geographical location might offer a significant potential for utilising solar power. The promising examples of Australia, with its 147 watts/person generated from solar power, and Chile, generating 85 watts/person with solar power, are indicative of the potential for Gabon to expand its energy generation in this direction.
Looking back, Gabon's history of low-carbon electricity generation is predominantly focused on hydropower, with significant fluctuations in generation over the years. Starting in the early 1980s, Gabon witnessed a steady rise in hydropower, originally averaging around 0.1 TWh annually. Unfortunately, from the mid-nineties to early 2000s, there were periods of stagnation with no significant increase in hydroelectric production. In 2005 and subsequent years even displayed a minor decrease in hydro generation. From 2007, production generally altered between slight increases and decreases, giving an overall impression of insignificant progress in enhancing hydropower. These historical trends underline the crucial need for Gabon to diversify its low-carbon energy base beyond hydropower, considering wind and solar energy as prospective additions to its clean energy portfolio.