In Mauritania, the total electricity generated per person is around 51 watts, a figure that is significantly lower than the global average of 412 watts per person. The majority of this is from fossil fuel sources, contributing approximately 34 watts/person, while low-carbon energy amounts to a total of about 12 watts/person. The figure for low-carbon energy is accounted by 5 watts from hydropower, around 4 watts from wind, and just under 3.5 watts from solar. This low level of electricity generation overall could potentially impact the country's development, as electricity is essential for various sectors such as health, education, and industry. Additionally, nearly 10% of Mauritania's electricity consumption is made up of net imports.
Given the data above, it is clear that Mauritania can take several steps to boost its low-carbon electricity generation. Looking at other countries, Denmark showcases great success with wind energy, reaching up to 369 watts/person. This indicates the potential for Mauritania to further harness wind energy as a larger part of its energy mix. Uruguay, another country with a similar climate and geographical location, has demonstrated the effectiveness of a combined wind and solar approach, achieving 160 watts/person with wind power. Australia, another hot and sunny country, has reached 147 watts/person through their use of solar energy. Besides, Mauritania can also consider leveraging more nuclear energy as seen in France and Sweden, both reaching over 500 watts/person.
Discussing the history, the generation of low-carbon electricity in Mauritania has been a relatively recent endeavour. Whilst until 2009, hydropower held the only ranking within the low-carbon sector without any significant change, the same year saw a small increase of 0.1 TWh in production. The emergence of other sources of low-carbon energy only began in 2013, with modest contributions from wind and solar power. The progress after this point has been mixed with some years revealing growth in energy production from wind and solar - particularly evident in 2015 and 2018 - whereas some years showed no significant growth, as in 2016, 2020, and 2021. Overall, the pattern suggests room for advancement in the use of various low-carbon sources, such as wind, solar, and hydropower in Mauritania.