Togo's electricity consumption in 2021, is drastically low in comparison to the global average of 410 watts per person. This discrepancy not only affects the pace of socio-economic development in Togo but also deprives many households access to reliable electricity, thus limiting their ability to use electricity for basic needs such as lighting, refrigeration, and cooking. On the bright side, Togo's minimal electricity consumption also means a lower carbon footprint, which is encouraging from an environmental standpoint. However, it's noteworthy that low levels of electricity generation, particularly from low-carbon sources, can slow down the transition away from fossil fuels and pose challenges to sustainable development.
To ramp up low-carbon electricity generation, Togo can look towards successful examples from around the world. For instance, Brazil, a country with a similar climate and geographical characteristics, has been successful in generating 94 TWh of electricity from wind and 50 TWh from solar. Harnessing wind and solar power, in particular, can be a viable strategy for Togo, given its tropical climate and extensive rural landscapes. Togo can also learn from countries like Spain which generates a balanced low-carbon energy mix from wind, solar and nuclear. This can be achieved through a combination of domestic initiatives and international collaborations, focused on capacity building, knowledge transfer, and funding for setting up robust low-carbon energy infrastructure.
Togo's history of low-carbon electricity is primarily comprised of hydroelectric generation. In the 1990s, small fluctuations in hydroelectric generation were observed, typically ranging between an increase and decrease of 0.1 TWh. This continued in the 2000s, however, there were periods such as in 2004 and 2013 where no significant changes in production were recorded. From 2016, a pattern of minor increases and decreases in production continued, concluding with a promising increase of 0.2 TWh in 2019. Notably, these fluctuations reflect the inherent challenges associated with hydroelectricity, such as dependency on rainfall and water availability. This underscores the importance of diversifying Togo's low-carbon electricity portfolio to include wind, solar, and potentially, nuclear energy to ensure consistent and increased production.