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Electricity in Tonga in 2021

Global Ranking: #136
12.5% #146 Low-carbon electricity
86.13 watts #158 Generation / person
578.75 gCO2eq/kWh #168 Carbon Intensity
None Electricity imports

In 2021, Tonga's total electricity consumption per person stood at approximately 86 watts, considerably below the global average of 412 watts. The vast majority of this was derived from fossil fuels, with 75 watts per person coming from these kind of energy sources. A mere 11 watts per person were generated from low-carbon energy sources, all of which were from solar power. This minimal contribution from clean energy sources put Tonga well behind the rest of the world in terms of transition to green energy, potentially impeding efforts to combat climate change and air pollution. The low overall level of electricity generation also poses socio-economic challenges, potentially hampering the provision of essential services and economic development.


To increase its low-carbon electricity generation, Tonga could look to expand its existing solar energy programs, given that its current clean energy production is solely from solar power. Nevertheless, it could also learn from other countries who have successfully developed other forms of low-carbon energy sources. For instance, Denmark and Sweden both produce over 350 watts per person from wind energy, while countries such as France, Finland, and Belgium generate over 400 watts per person from nuclear energy. As a Pacific island nation, Tonga has a great potential to harness wind energy, similar to Denmark and Sweden. Moreover, nuclear energy could be another feasible option, given successful implementations in technologically advanced countries.


Tonga's history with low-carbon electricity is rather short and homogenous. Since 2017, all low-carbon electricity has been sourced purely from solar energy. However, the quantity of electricity generated from solar power has remained stagnant over this period, with zero increase in terawatt-hours year on year from 2017 to 2021. This lack of growth highlights a missed opportunity for Tonga to take advantage of green energy and reduce its carbon footprint. As is clear, the need for a shift in Tonga’s energy policy is evident, with a specific emphasis on diversification and expansion of clean, low-carbon energy sources.

Data Sources

The data source is Ember.