In 2021, the total electricity consumption per person in Vanuatu was notably low at just 25.04 watts per person, only a fraction of the global average of 412 watts per person. Just under three-quarters of this electricity consumption, approximately 18 watts per person, came from fossil energy. The remaining quarter, around 7 watts per person, was produced by low-carbon energy sources. Specifically, solar energy and biofuels each contributed almost 4 watts per person. The low electricity consumption could be affecting the quality of life, health outcomes, economic productivity, and more, of the people living in Vanuatu. It is crucial to note that Vanuatu neither imports nor exports electricity, meaning the state is entirely reliant on its own ability to generate power.
Looking forward, Vanuatu could potentially increase its levels of low-carbon electricity generation by expanding existing solar energy operations. Given the success of solar energy in countries with similar climates, like Australia which generates 147 watts per person, there is considerable scope for growth in this area. Additionally, Vanuatu might align itself with other island nations who have benefited from wind energy. Denmark, with its significant wind power generation of 369 watts per person, serves as a relevant example. While Vanuatu lacks the resources to adopt nuclear power like France or Sweden, focusing on solar and wind energy could be a wise choice given the geographic and climatic conditions.
The history of low-carbon electricity in Vanuatu has been relatively stagnant over the past decade. Low-carbon energy sources, such as biofuels and wind, were introduced in 2013, but there has been no significant change in the electricity generation from these sources over the years. Similarly, solar energy, which was introduced in 2018, has also remained constant in terms of electricity generation. Tellingly, there have been no significant declines or controversial events related to nuclear power in Vanuatu's history. Given the lack of change in low-carbon energy production over the past few years, it becomes even more crucial for Vanuatu to invest in and develop its low-carbon energy sectors, such as solar and wind power, to meet its future energy needs and to move towards a more sustainable and clean source of electricity.