Senegal's electricity consumption as of 2021 mainly revolves around fossil sources, with around 4.48 TWh coming from fossil, and 1.81 TWh generated by gas. Clean, low-carbon energy only accounts for a mere 1.13 TWh. Comparatively, this substantially trails behind the global average electricity consumption of 410 watts per person. This predominance of fossil fuel sources suggests that the country is yet to embark on a green-energy transition, a predicament possibly resulting in a stunted economic growth and exacerbating the nation's vulnerability to the detrimental effects of climate change. Plus, the lack of access to stable electricity supply could hinder the advancement of digital technology and educational opportunities.
Countries that have thrived in low-carbon electricity generation can offer significant insights for Senegal. Considering its geographic location and climate conditions, countries like Brazil, India, and Spain could serve as a roadmap for Senegal. Brazil, for example, has successfully harnessed wind energy amounting to 94 TWh. India too, with its wind and solar energy contributing to an impressive 210 TWh, could signal the potential for Senegal to explore similar sources. Spain also offers a balanced portfolio, with wind, solar, and nuclear energy each contributing significantly to the country's electricity generation. Adopting a diversified approach as seen in Spain could pave the way for a sustainable energy future for Senegal.
A glance at the historical developments of low-carbon electricity in Senegal reveals a slow but steady progress from the early 2000s. Hydro energy made a small debut in 2002, adding 0.2 TWh, but faced an uneventful period till 2007 when it experienced a minimal decline. The introduction of biofuels in 2012 marked a new phase in Senegal's green electricity journey despite a small decrease in 2014. Heralding another milestone was the advent of solar energy in 2017, gradually gaining traction with consistent incremental changes till 2021. Wind energy too played its part, introduced in 2020, and providing an extra boost to the nation's low-carbon electricity generation.