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Electricity in Nicaragua in 2021

Global Ranking: #90
42.2% #74 Low-carbon electricity
99.82 watts #152 Generation / person
354.03 gCO2eq/kWh #75 Carbon Intensity
22.7% net imports Electricity imports

Electricity consumption per person in Nicaragua is currently at nearly 100 watts/person, which is significantly lower than the global average of 412 watts/person. This low level of electricity generation may be due to the country's limited access to advanced technologies and resources. Low-carbon forms of energy, including biofuels, geothermal, wind, and hydroelectric, account for just over 40 watts/person. Fossil sources of energy meanwhile provide nearly 35 watts/person. Among low-carbon technologies, geothermal and wind energy contribute significantly, at 13 watts/person and 10.5 watts/person respectively. Despite these contributions, Nicaragua's electricity generation still falls far behind global standards, which could negatively impact its economic and social development. It is worth mentioning that over 22% of Nicaragua's electricity consumption is covered by net imports.


In an effort to increase its low-carbon electricity generation, Nicaragua could consider expanding its successful wind energy projects, as the technology has proven suitable for the country's contextual and geographic conditions. Furthermore, the nation might also learn from other countries with comparable profiles. Denmark and Uruguay, for instance, have succeeded in harnessing wind energy at rates of 369 and 160 watts/person respectively. Ireland and Greece, likewise, produce substantial amounts of electricity (258 and 119 watts/person) through wind energy. All these countries exemplify how advancements in wind technology can be used to expand low-carbon electricity generation even in diverse geographic regions.


The history of low-carbon electricity generation in Nicaragua began earnestly in the 1970s with the initiation of hydroelectric projects. A clear expansion was noted in the years 1972 and 1977 with an increase of 0.2TWh each year. However, there were also periods of decline in 1977 and 1983. The 1980s also saw the introduction of geothermal energy, with an increase of 0.2TWh in 1984 and 1989. The late 20th and early 21st centuries mark the incorporation of biofuels and wind energy. There were positive growths in hydroelectric and geothermal generation simultaneously in 2000, 2012, and 2020. The first introduction of wind energy in 2013 was followed by an increased generation in 2014. Unfortunately, there was a dip in the generation of wind energy in 2016 and 2020. These fluctuations perhaps highlight the technological and systemic challenges faced in the integration and harnessing of low-carbon energy.

Data Sources

For the years 1971 to 1982 the data sources are World Bank and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1983 to 1989 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2000 to 2012 the data source is Ember.
For the years 2013 to 2016 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2017 to 2021 the data source is Ember.