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Electricity in Réunion in 2011

Global Ranking: #75
30.8% #107 Low-carbon electricity
367.94 watts #96 Generation / person
485.89 gCO2eq/kWh #128 Carbon Intensity

Reunion had a total electricity consumption of 2 TWh from fossil fuels in the year 2011. Unfortunately, this level of electricity consumption is composed wholly of fossil energy with no clean or low-carbon energy sources featuring in the energy mix. The per capita electricity consumption, while not explicitly stated, is surely far below the global average of 410 watts per person given Reunion's small population. This lower level of per capita electricity generation may potentially put a strain on the development and quality of life on the island. The lack of low-carbon electricity generation also means that the island's energy consumption contributes significantly to climate change - a dilemma which could potentially be mitigated by adopting sustainable alternatives.


In looking at ways that Reunion could increase its low-carbon electricity generation, it would be useful to consider the success stories of other countries. Given that Reunion is an island, lessons could be learned from other island nations or territories that have had success with certain types of low-carbon energy. For example, Japan has generated 100 TWh of its power from solar energy, indicating a potential avenue for Reunion to follow. The advantage of solar power is that it doesn't require significant land mass for installations, and Reunion being a tropical island, is likely to receive more sunlight than the global average. Similarly, Brazil, another tropical region, has generated substantial amounts of its electricity from wind power, indicating that Reunion could also explore the expansion of wind farms. Nuclear power, while not feasible due to Reunion's small scale, should not be overlooked in global efforts towards expanding low-carbon energy.


The history of low-carbon electricity in Reunion has seen some ups and downs over the years. The early 2000s saw essentially no movement in low-carbon electricity generation, with hydro and biofuels remaining steady at 0 TWh from 2001 onwards. However, modest growth in biofuels was observed in 2004 and 2006, only to return to nil in 2008. Hydro power saw a brief spike in 2007, but this was tragically reversed in 2009, bringing it back down to its original level. On the positive side, solar started to make an appearance in Reunion's energy mix in 2009, with an encouraging mild increase in 2010, which continued into 2011. However, it would be somewhat optimistic to hail these as signs of a major turning point in Reunion's low-carbon electricity story, given that the increases were rather insignificant. Overall, in comparison to the broader global context, Reunion's history in low-carbon electricity generation paints a picture of missed opportunities and stagnated adoption of cleaner energy sources.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

The the data source is Ember.
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