In 2021, Mozambique’s total electricity consumption stood at a mere 71 watts per person, significantly lower than the global average of 412 watts per person. Looking at the composition, more than three quarters of this consumption was derived from low-carbon energy, with 58 watts per person, primarily from hydropower providing nearly 57 watts per person. The rest of the country's electricity needs were met by fossil energy which accounted for just over 13 watts per person, largely from gas contributing nearly 9 watts per person. Why is Mozambique's per capita electricity consumption considerably less than the world's average? The reason could be infrastructural deficiencies, economic factors or policy issues affecting electricity generation capacity. Despite such low electricity era, Mozambique interestingly remains a net exporter of electricity.
Looking at the successful low-carbon energy generation strategies of other countries, Mozambique can gain insights on how to increase its own low-carbon electricity generation. For instance, considering its abundant water resources, Mozambique could learn from the utilization of nuclear energy in countries like Sweden, France and Finland that generate over 500 watts per person from nuclear energy. More specifically, Mozambique can learn from the precision, safety measures, and innovation these countries have applied in their nuclear energy sector. Additionally, Mozambique could consider expanding its wind energy generation, drawing examples from Denmark and Sweden that have effectively harnessed wind power to generate over 360 watts per person. Also, considering Mozambique’s geographical position, tapping into solar energy could be another feasible option like Australia does, generating around 147 watts per person from solar energy.
The history of low-carbon electricity in Mozambique, predominantly from hydropower, has seen some peaks and troughs over the years. The earliest signs of decline were seen in the early 1980s with a dip of 9.7 TWh in 1981. The generation displayed nominal fluctuation over the next three years until another drop of 4.4 TWh in 1984. However, towards the end of the century, there was significant traction in hydroelectric generation, registering an increase of 5.9 TWh in 1998, followed by steady but slight increments in the subsequent years. Unfortunately, the progress was not sustained for long, with a slip of 1.8 TWh recorded in 2003, and later another drop of 1.7 TWh in the early 2010s. Perhaps it is time for Mozambique to explore other low-carbon energy sources like nuclear, wind, and solar for its electricity generation.