Facts on Energy Access

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Energy as Driver of Change

It is necessary to meet our basic needs: to grow and cook our food, to light our homes, to power our machines and technologies. Access to energy is a key requirement for the agricultural sector, commerce and industries. It is also important for the provision of public services, such as education and health care. A lack of access to modern energy services affects health negatively, limits opportunities and widens the gap between the rich and the poor. Read more on energypedia.

Access to Energy

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  • About one billion people do not have access to electricity, according to the 2018 World Energy Outlook.
  • Most of the people with lack of energy access live in rural areas of developing countries.
  • 2.6 billion people – more than a third of the world's population – do not have access to clean and energy efficient cooking technologies. Biomass, like wood, dung, agricultural residues, is the most commonly used source of energy in poor rural areas worldwide, and it is predominantly burned on inefficient traditional stoves and open fires.
  • Only a third of sub-Saharan Africa’s inhabitants have access to electricity. Those who have access to electricity often face very high prices for a supply that is insufficient and unreliable. The situation is especially dire in rural areas.
  • The majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa depend on candles as a light source or on kerosene lamps which are a health hazard.

Energy Poverty

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In many cases ‘energy poverty’ is linked to general poverty:

  • A lack of access to modern energy services limits economic opportunities and widens the gap between the rich and the poor. Poor people are often cut off from valuable information and efficient production technologies.
  • Not having reliable access to modern energy often means spending a lot of time, money and effort on securing energy supply for basic needs.
  • There is a significant health risk to people who use biomass for cooking or heating. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2018), close to 4 million people, most of them women and children, die each year as a result of indoor air pollution.

Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Energy for All Initiative

EnDev contributes to the goals of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) initiative as well as to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since enabling access to energy (SDG 7) is a precondition for achieving these goals. In its report, the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Sustainable Development Agenda makes recommendations following the SEforALL objectives: continuing the work towards universal energy access, double the use of renewable energy technologies and double the energy efficiency. EnDev directly supports these objectives with its interventions.

Beyond that, EnDev does not aim for simply connecting households and institutions from a technological point of view. In fact, the partnership programme intends to maximise the impact of energy access by taking into account energy use and target group demand. EnDev is the main energy access programme which implements in this field, to contribute to universal access. Read more about what EnDev does on the Profile.