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Electricity in Iraq in 2021

Global Ranking: #146
4.6% #167 Low-carbon electricity
303.84 watts #107 Generation / person
481.29 gCO2eq/kWh #128 Carbon Intensity

In 2021, Iraq's electricity generation was predominantly powered by fossil fuels, contributing about 92 terawatt-hours(TWh), and gas, with around 76 TWh. These two sources accounted for over 95% of the country's total electricity production. The contribution of low-carbon electricity, at just 5.28 TWh, represents less than 5% of the total energy mix, which is substantially lower than the global average of 410 watts per person. The lack of significant low carbon energy generation might explain lower electricity accessibility and reliability, coupled with higher greenhouse gas emissions. Net imports of electricity also made a substantial contribution of roughly 19 TWh, signifying a dependency on external sources to meet the country's electricity demand.


Taking a cue from other nations, Iraq can significantly boost its low-carbon electricity generation. Countries like the People's Republic of China and the United States have successfully harnessed wind and solar power not to mention nuclear energy. Specifically, China generated a whopping 964 TWh of wind energy, and 523 TWh of solar energy. In the case of the United States, nuclear power played a prominent role, contributing a substantial 775 TWh. These successful cases suggest that Iraq can multiply its low-carbon capacity by investing further in solar, wind, and nuclear energies. Given Iraq's climatic conditions—sunny and windy most of the year—there is a considerable potential for solar and wind power generation.


The history of low-carbon electricity in Iraq has been primarily centered on hydropower, with a significant change noted in 2005 when hydropower generation increased by approximately 5.5 TWh. However, since then, the subsequent years saw a roller-coaster trend with ups and downs. Significant drops were observed in 2008 and 2014, with decreases of about 2.2 and 1.8 TWh, respectively. However, 2019 marked a positive shift, elevating the hydroelectric power generation by roughly 3.2 TWh. A new entrant in the low-carbon category, solar power, was initiated in 2018, contributing a humble 0.3 TWh by the end of the year. The historical movements indicate a fluctuating commitment to low-carbon energy production, signifying room for consistent efforts and policy changes.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1984 the data source is EIA.
For the years 1985 to 1989 the data source is Energy Institute.
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2000 to 2021 the data source is Ember.
For the years 2022 to 2021 the data source is Energy Institute.
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