South Sudan's current electricity consumption is remarkably low compared to the global average of 410 watts/person. With no known data on conventional or low-carbon electricity generation, the nation's energy sector can at best be described as embryonic. Its low electricity generation is likely due to a lack of infrastructure and technical expertise, coupled with political instability. The deleterious effect of this shortage is far-reaching, affecting access to clean water, healthcare, education and economic opportunity for ordinary Sudanese. In a world where low-carbon, clean energy is becoming increasingly favored, South Sudan significantly lags behind.
Increasing low-carbon electricity generation holds enormous potential for South Sudan. The geographical and climatic condition of the country offer immense potential for wind and solar energy. South Sudan could draw inspiration from nations like China, the USA and India, which have made significant strides in wind and solar energy generation. China, for example, generates 941 TWh from wind and 531 TWh from solar. It is possible for South Sudan to collaborate with these successful nations to foster knowledge and technology transfer. This way, the nation could harness clean, low-carbon energy to meet its electricity demand.
The history of low-carbon electricity production in South Sudan, however, is less encouraging. Since 2013, the nation has consistently registered zero solar electricity generation. This indicates a lack of commitment to or capabilities for sustainable energy production. Even though the data available does not show any significant declines, the continued low generation paints a bleak picture of South Sudan's energy situation. For a country with excellent conditions for solar energy generation, the lack of progress in this sector is rather disappointing. It is high time for South Sudan to take bold steps in adopting low-carbon, clean energy technology. Consuming sustainable, green energy is imperative to mitigate climate change effects and enhance the livelihood of its inhabitants.