In 2021, electricity consumption in South Sudan was minuscule compared to the global average. With a total of only about 6 watts per person, it is far below the worldwide norm of 412 watts per person. Furthermore, the majority of this power, almost 6 watts per person, derives from fossil sources which are not ideal due to their detrimental effects on the environment. Low-carbon energy, a more sustainable option, contributes less than 0.2 watts per person to the overall electricity supply, with the entire amount coming from solar energy. As a result, the potential for significant advancement in both economic development and living standards are limited due to such low levels of electricity generation. South Sudan neither imports nor exports electricity, suggesting self-reliance, but also underscores the isolation of the country's energy sector.
Looking at the practices of other nations, South Sudan can learn from countries that have heavily invested in low-carbon electricity production, particularly those harnessing solar power. Australia, for instance, produces about 147 watts per person from solar energy. Given the abundance of sunlight in South Sudan, following a similar path could lead to a substantial increase in electricity production and help the country shift away from its reliance on fossil fuels. Other examples include Chile and Israel, generating 85 and 60 watts per person respectively from solar power.
The history of low-carbon electricity in South Sudan is almost non-existent. The country's solar-generated electricity, the only source of its low-carbon energy, has remained at zero since 2013. From 2013 up to 2021, South Sudan failed to generate any electricity from solar energy, demonstrating a lack of progression in embracing clean, sustainable energies. This significant absence of low-carbon energy exploration reveals an area of substantial potential growth for South Sudan's energy sector if investments and infrastructural development can be directed towards it.