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Electricity in Greenland in 2021

Global Ranking: #6
83.3% #22 Low-carbon electricity
1217.31 watts #16 Generation / person
129.17 gCO2eq/kWh #24 Carbon Intensity
None Electricity imports

In the present scenario, Greenland's approach to clean, low-carbon energy sources has produced commendable results. As of 2021, a considerably high share of electricity, up to over 83% comes from low-carbon sources, specifically hydropower, which is a stellar stride towards embracing cleaner energy solutions. Albeit, while making significant progress in the power sector, the need to fortify the uptake of electricity in other sectors looms large. Yet, the focus must be on maintaining the current status of low-carbon electricity which should still form the bulk of the power in sectors like transport, heating, and industry. The remaining 17%, constitutes of fossil fuel derived electricity, highlighting a minor, yet existent reliance on high carbon sources. It is also worth noting that the country is self-reliant when it comes to electricity as it neither imports nor exports electricity from other regions or countries.


Exploring the potential for further advancement in low-carbon electricity generation, Greenland could gain insights from other countries' successes. Sharing similar geographical and climatic conditions with the Nordic countries, Greenland could potentially learn from Denmark and Sweden, where wind energy contributes significantly to their low-carbon energy pool, generating 369 watts/person and 363 watts/person respectively. Embracing similar strategies could increase Greenland's current generation capacity, and further reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Furthermore, venturing into nuclear power for electricity generation, akin to Sweden, France, and Finland, could be another favorable option. These countries hold a substantial nuclear to hydropower ratio in their energy mix, effectively increasing the watts per person, and serving as ideal examples for Greenland.


Tracing the history of low-carbon electricity generation in Greenland, it is evident that the country's dependable source has been hydropower. At turn the of the 21st century, there was no change in hydropower derived electricity from 2001 to 2008. However, in 2009, there was a marginal increase by 0.1TWh in hydropower generated electricity, which was a significant development in Greenland's energy sector after a static phase. After another year of plateau, another increase by 0.1TWh was recorded in 2011. The sector became stagnant once again for almost a decade after this, until another similar rise was observed in 2020. Hence, although Greenland has maintained a constant focus on hydropower as its primary low-carbon electricity source, the growth rate in the sector has been quite slow.

Data Sources

The data source is Ember.