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Electricity in Papua New Guinea in 2021

Global Ranking: #143
26.5% #113 Low-carbon electricity
55.76 watts #169 Generation / person
492.48 gCO2eq/kWh #139 Carbon Intensity

In 2021, Papua New Guinea consumed a total of 4.86 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, well below the global average of 410 watts per person. The electricity generation was primarily from fossil fuel sources, which accounted for over two-thirds of the total power produced at approximately 3.57 TWh. The contribution from cleaner, low-carbon energy sources was significantly less, accounting for roughly 1.29 TWh. This stark imbalance between the sources signifies a high dependence on harmful fossil fuels, likely contributing to climate change and air pollution burdens. Furthermore, low overall electricity generation may also suggest potential infrastructural challenges and economic implications, including limited access to electricity and developmental hindrances.


To increase their low-carbon electricity generation, Papua New Guinea could draw learning from countries with significant clean energy profiles. For instance, Brazil and Australia have used their wind and solar resources respectively, generating approximately 94 TWh and 48 TWh. Additionally, countries like the United States and South Korea have leveraged nuclear capabilities for electricity generation, producing about 775 TWh and 172 TWh, respectively. Given Papua New Guinea's unique climatic and geographical conditions, harnessing wind and solar could be potentially beneficial, although feasibility of nuclear energy should also be investigated due to its high output and relative stability.


The history of low-carbon electricity in Papua New Guinea appears to have been predominated by hydro along with some contribution from biofuels and geothermal over the past few decades. The generation from these sources has been relatively constant with few variations. In the 1980s, hydroelectric generation saw slight increases. By the mid-1990s, the contribution from hydro grew more substantially, though it was followed by a minor decline. The turn of the millennium marked the introduction of biofuels which, along with geothermal introduced around 2003, added to the country's low-carbon portfolio. Nevertheless, the limited growth and fluctuations in hydro generation along with the marginal contribution from other clean energy sources show Papua New Guinea's reliance on non-fossil resources hasn't been strongly consistent nor significantly expansive.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1999 the data source is EIA.
For the years 2000 to 2021 the data source is Ember.
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