In 2021, Somalia has virtually no meaningful electricity consumption per capita, let alone any discernible low-carbon energy generation. This paints a stark contrast to the global average of 410 watts per person. The underdeveloped state of the energy sector in Somalia, which heavily relies on fossil fuels, has far-reaching implications on the country's socio-economic development, with poor electrification rates, particularly in rural areas, leading to marginalized communities with limited access to essential services. The lack of efficient, clean energy infrastructure also means that it's an uphill battle for Somalia in addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
To increase its green electricity generation, Somalia can draw lessons from countries successful in harnessing low-carbon energy. Analogous to Somalia, other developing countries like India and Brazil have embraced solar and wind energy, respectively, generating 119 TWh and 94 TWh in 2021. These nations have prioritized sustainable development by investing in prolific low carbon energy sectors, setting up favorable policies, and attracting foreign investment in renewable projects. Given its geographical location, Somalia can capitalize on abundant solar radiation and harness wind energy along its coastline. Scaling up investments in these sectors and strengthening institutional and regulatory frameworks can accelerate low-carbon electricity generation in Somalia.
Ironically, the historical records of low-carbon electricity generation in Somalia, specifically solar and wind energy, reveal a strikingly gloomy picture. Between the years 2016 and 2021 there have been no discernible changes in electricity generation from these sources, registering a constant production of zero TWh annually. This absence of clean energy growth reflects the severe challenges that the country faces including political instability, lack of financial incentives, and limited technical capacity. However, it also underscores an untapped potential and an opportunity for the country to recalibrate its energy policies towards low-carbon sources for a sustainable and resilient future.