24 October 2017
IEA Report: Access to Energy for All Can Be Achieved with 2% of Global Energy Investments
UN Photo/Isaac Billy
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The IEA Report titled, 'Energy Access Outlook 2017: form Poverty to Prosperity,' finds that while the number of people without access to energy has decreased from 1.6 to 1.1 billion over six years, current trends suggest that more than 600 million could remain without access in 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa.

The analysis shows that achieving SDG 7 by 2030 would cost US$31 billion per year, equivalent of 2% of global energy investments.

Providing access to clean energy for cooking should be a priority as it yields substantial co-benefits for health, climate change mitigation and gender equality.

19 October 2017: Estimating the cost of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is an important step in developing effective strategies for implementation. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published the first cost estimate for achieving SDG 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), finding that US$31 billion per year, or 2% of global energy investments, could achieve energy access for all by 2030.

Published as part of IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2017 Series, the report titled, ‘Energy Access Outlook: from Poverty to Prosperity,’ provides the first comprehensive analysis of access to energy in 140 countries. The study finds that the number of people without energy access fell from 1.6 to 1.1 billion between 2000 and 2016, driven by a “convergence of falling costs and increasing political will.” Asian developing countries made the fastest progress during this period, with India on track to achieve universal energy access by 2020. In Africa, however, current trends suggest that 674 million will remain without energy access in 2030, with 90% of energy poor living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Among other analyses, the study provides an “Energy for All” scenario that outlines a strategy for bridging the energy access gap in Africa and other developing countries. The scenario finds that providing universal energy access by 2030 would cost an additional US$31 billion per year, representing an increase of global energy investment of 2%. The majority of these funds would have to be directed to renewable energy development in sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition to achieving SDG 7, such an investment would create significant co-benefits. The report shows that access to clean energy for cooking alone would prevent up to 1.8 million premature deaths per year from indoor pollution. It would also reduce women’s workload for collecting fuel wood by one hour per day. Reducing the use of biomass for cooking would further deliver substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. This also implies that providing energy access for all will not lead to an increase in global GHG emissions.

To achieve these results, the publication recommends that policy makers continue to establish favorable policies, including putting access to clean cooking solutions at the top the agenda. [IEA Press Release][Energy Access Outlook 2017 – Key Findings]

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