In 2021, the state of electricity consumption in São Tomé & Príncipe stands quite low compared to the global average, with a total of just 51 watts per person. The lion's share of this amounting around 46 watts per person comes from fossil sources, indicating a large dependency on polluting energy sources. In contrast, the contribution of clean, low-carbon energy to the total consumption of the island country is very low, with only around 5 watts per person, all of it hailing from hydropower. Compared to the global average of 412 watts per person, it's clear that São Tomé & Príncipe's electricity generation is very low, leading to potentially underdeveloped infrastructure and limiting economic growth opportunities. Notably, all of São Tomé & Príncipe's electricity is produced domestically; they do not import or export any electricity from other regions or countries.
For São Tomé & Príncipe to substantially enhance their low-carbon electricity production, they can draw lessons from nations that have successfully achieved this. For instance, harnessing wind energy like Denmark or Ireland could be one avenue. These countries produce 369 and 258 watts per person respectively. However, given the island's tropical, equatorial climate, solar may be a promising low-carbon option, as seen in Barbados and Malta, generating 32 and 56 watts per person, respectively. Nuclear energy, while highly productive at low-carbon electricity generation as shown by earlier examples of Sweden and France, may not be a feasible option for São Tomé & Príncipe due to the sophisticated technology and infrastructure needed.
Looking at the historical data, São Tomé & Príncipe's low-carbon electricity generation has been remarkably stagnant over the past two decades. From 2002 to 2021, electricity generation from hydroenergy has shown no change at all. This points to a lack of diversification or expansion in their low-carbon energy sector. However, it should be noted that the absence of declines in low-carbon electricity generation is a positive sign, showing that the reliance on hydropower has been consistent. Embracing other low-carbon energy technologies, like wind or solar, would be a logical and advantageous progression for São Tomé & Príncipe's future.