Oil Exports Funding South Sudan’s Solar Development

National Economy

The land-locked African country of the Republic of South Sudan is bordered by Ethiopia, Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Kenya. The population of South Sudan is approximately 11.57 million people[1].

On July 9, 2011, South Sudan gained independence from the Republic of the Sudan. In 2019, oil was discovered in the northern region of South Sudan.

In 2022, South Sudan’s economy was ranked 150th  in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[2]. The country’s economy is based on the export[3] of crude oil, refined petroleum, forage crops, onions, sheep meat, and goat meat.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, South Sudan signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to increase the use of clean and carbon-neutral energy, deploying them “whenever possible.”

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2020, only 7.2 % of the people in South Sudan had access to electricity[5]. In 2021, the South Sudan Electricity Corporation (SSEC) used refined petroleum (98.2%) and renewable energy (1.8%) to generate electricity in the country[6]. Solar is the only type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in South Sudan.

Recent renewable energy projects in South Sudan include:

  • 20 MW Solar Project – Egyptian engineering firm Elsewedy Power System is continuing work on a solar project at a site near the nation’s capital, Juba.
  • 700 kW Solar + 1,368 kWh Energy Storage Project – In June 2020, Norwegian renewable energy company, Scatec commissioned a solar plus energy storage project at a site approximately 300 miles north of Juba.


The exports of crude oil and refined petroleum have enabled South Sudan to rebuild following civil war in 2013. In 2021, South Sudan exported U.S. $455 Million in crude oil and U.S. $84.9 Million in refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

South Sudan has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, wind, and biomass. Renewable energy could dramatically increase access to electricity to the people of South Sudan. Oil exports are now funding South Sudan’s solar energy development.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”



Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.


[1] South Sudan’s Population (2023) –  May 17, 2023, www.worldometers.info

[2] Countries by GDP – Population.com

[3] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – South Sudan

[4] Carbon Brief – “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Pledges” www.carbonbriefing.org

[5] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – South Sudan”

[6] Our World In Data – South Sudan: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

Share and Enjoy !


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *