In 2021, Kiribati's power generation rested squarely on fossil fuels, with the nation generating a total of around 27 watts per person. This number is significantly lower compared to the global average of 412 watts per person. The reliance on fossil fuels not only contributes to carbon emissions but also leads to low levels of electricity, potentially hindering economic development, technological advancement, and quality of life improvements. Moreover, this type of energy consumption pattern can result in heightened vulnerability to volatile global oil markets. Interestingly, Kiribati does not import or export any electricity from other countries, implying a high degree of energy independence albeit based on fossil fuels.
Looking at other nations, some have been successful in generating substantial amounts of low-carbon electricity. Kiribati could take a cue from these nations and consider the development of nuclear, wind, and solar energy sources. Despite the country's small size and lack of experience with nuclear energy, countries such as Sweden, France, and Finland have shown that it's possible to generate over 500 watts per person using nuclear energy. Alternatively, harnessing wind and solar energy could also be viable options. Denmark has been quite successful with wind energy, generating 369 watts per person. Similarly, Australia's solar energy generation stands at 147 watts per person, proving that significant levels of low-carbon electricity production are achievable through this source. Adapting and tailoring these strategies to the Kiribati context could help the country transition towards a more sustainable energy future.
Unfortunately, the provided data does not cover any historical changes in low-carbon electricity in Kiribati. However, it is of paramount importance that the nation recognises the urgent need for a shift towards low-carbon energy sources like nuclear, wind, and solar. Countries worldwide have acknowledged that the traditional reliance on fossil fuels needs to be reined in due to their contribution to climate change and environmental degradation. With careful planning, robust policy framework and technical assistance from countries experienced in low-carbon energy generation, Kiribati can indeed script a sustainable energy future.