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Electricity in Mali in 2021

Global Ranking: #127
36.0% #93 Low-carbon electricity
17.67 watts #190 Generation / person
439.65 gCO2eq/kWh #109 Carbon Intensity
Net exporter Electricity imports

The current state of electricity generation in Mali is significantly below the global average which stands at 412 watts per person. Mali's total electricity per person, including both fossil and low carbon energy, is just over 17 watts, massively under the global average, hence slowing down economic growth and hindering improvements in living standards. Of this total, roughly two-thirds is fossil-based, while a little more than one-third is sourced from low-carbon energies. The latter includes electricity generated from hydropower, which accounts for the largest share, followed by biofuels, and a very minimal amount from solar energy. Such low levels of electricity generation have implications ranging from restricted access to basic services like healthcare and education to limiting the country's industrial and technological capabilities. Notwithstanding these issues, it's worth noting that Mali is a net exporter of electricity, indicating potential for progress.


In order to boost low-carbon electricity generation, Mali could make significant strides by learning from other successful countries. Distributed across the spectrum, countries like Sweden, France and Finland are leading in nuclear-based electricity generation, each achieving above 500 watts per person. However, considering matters of geographic and economic congruity, Mali might find more useful insights from countries such as Australia and Chile, who have effectively harnessed solar energy. Given that Mali has a predominantly hot and sunny climate, focusing more on solar energy could be a more realistic and cost-effective strategy. Furthermore, countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Uruguay have shown great success with wind energy, which might also be a viable option for Mali given its vast land resources.


The history of low-carbon electricity in Mali has been marked by modest levels of hydro and biofuel-generated electricity. The early 2000s saw no significant contribution from these sources. However, the country experienced a slow but steady increase in hydroelectricity beginning in 2005, with a few intermittent periods of zero increase and even slight decreases. Despite these fluctuations, the overall decade leading up to 2015 showed a positive trajectory in hydropower usage, with an increase of about 0.4 TWh in 2010 marking the most substantial growth. The following years continued this inconsistent pattern, witnessing minor fluctuations after 2015 and a notable decline in 2019. Biofuels, on the other hand, hardly contributed to the overall electricity generation, according to the data available. To boost its low-carbon energy output, Mali will need to tap into more sustainable and reliable green energies like solar and wind while further enhancing its hydroelectric capabilities where possible.

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1989 the data source is EIA.
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data sources are EIA and Enerdata (imports/exports).
For the years 2000 to 2021 the data source is Ember.