In 2021, Madagascar's total electricity consumption was recorded at 1.37 TWh, generated entirely from fossil fuels. This energy consumption equates to a significant deficit compared to the global average of 410 watts per person. It is clear that Madagascar's current energy production is not sufficient to support advanced economic growth or improve living standards. The current reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation also contributes to environmental degradation and climate change. Furthermore, the insufficient electricity production likely results in widespread energy poverty, impacting education, healthcare, and overall quality of life.
Increasing low-carbon electricity generation could be a credible solution for Madagascar, particularly by learning from countries with successful low-carbon energy implementation. For instance, considering the island's geographical location, Madagascar could potentially tap into solar and wind energy similar to the People's Republic of China and the United States, who generated massive amounts of electricity from these sources (941 TWh wind, 531 TWh solar respectively). Also, Brazil's strides in wind energy at 94 TWh could serve as an archetype, given both nations' tropical climates and similar geographical characteristics. Long-term, Madagascar might also consider the potential of nuclear power, emulating countries like France and Russia who have achieved significant electricity generation through this method (319 TWh and 215 TWh respectively).
Looking at the history of low-carbon electricity in Madagascar, we note an absolute reliance on hydro energy with no exploration into nuclear, wind, or solar. Since 1995, the island nation has intermittently increased its hydro output, with increments of 0.1 TWh occurring sporadically over two decades. However, there has been a consistent decline in hydro energy production since 2016, with a brief recovery in 2018 being negated by further decreases in 2019 and 2020. This decline in hydro electricity production suggests the urgent need for diversification into other sources of low carbon energy, such as wind, solar, and potentially nuclear.