Electricity for Sustainable Development

Electricity for Sustainable Development: Indicator 7.1.1 Proportion of population with access to electricity 

Sustainable Development Goal 7 is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. This goal aims to “Ensure access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern energy for all”. It is also known as the Global Goals, which calls for a universal action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. [As the UN Secretary General Bon KI-Moon says “ours can be the first generation to end poverty – and the last generation to address climate before it is too late”] 

Targets for Goal 7

The Goal 7 have 5 targets i.e.  1) By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services. 2) To increase sustainability and the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.    3) Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. 4) To enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology. 5)It is the expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island, developing states, and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support.


As there are many indicators under the SDG 7, we are going to give more emphasis on indicator 7.1.1. Access to electricity, this is measured as the share of people with electricity access at the household level.Access to electricity addresses major critical issues in all the dimensions of sustainable development . The target has a white range of social and economic impacts, including facilitating development of household base income generating activities and lightening the burden of household tasks. It comprises electricity sold commercially, both on-grid and off-grid. As the population continues to grow it demands for cheap energy and as an economy reliant on fossil fuels is creating drastic changes to our climate. Investing in solar, wind and thermal power improving energy productivity, and ensuring energy for all is vital if we are to achieve SDG 7 by 2030. Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean and more efficient energy in all countries will encourage growth and help the environment. According to the World Bank Group, in order to achieve universal access to modern energy services, significant improvements in the enabling environments for relevant projects and programs must be created. According to the IEA (2014) SE4 All Finance Committee Report (2015), annual investments of $45 billion will be needed to meet the goals. This is mostly for the expansion of grid electrification, but it also includes substantial development of mini-grid and off-grid solutions in remote areas where extension of the main grid would not be the most economically attractive approach.

 Current situation of it’s development

Using the latest available data for the indicator, the report finds that although the world continues to advance toward SDG7, efforts remain well below those required to reach the goal by 2030. The data and analysis of SDG7 targets in this brief have been seen in the light of COVID-19 pandemic. With its wide ranging impact on societies and on the economy at both global and local levels including the fall in oil prices, the disruption of global supply chains and the limited ability of households and small businesses in many sectors to pay for electricity services, the pandemic is certain to affect the energy transition and progress toward SDG7. In the recent progress, the share of the global population with access to electricity increased from 83% in 2010 to 90% in 2018, which results in 1 billion more people gaining access to electricity. But there are still 789 million people without access to electricity. The world witnessed a slight acceleration in the global advance of electrification, from an average of 0.77 percentage points annually between 2010 and 2016 to 0.82 percentage points between 2016 and 2018. The world’s access deficit is concentrated in Sub. Sharan Africa, where the access rate grew from 34% in 2010 to 47% in 2018. Other regions of the world are also reaching access levels well above 90%. The three largest deficits by absolute numbers are in Nigeria (85 million people) , the Democratic Republic of Congo (68 million) and India (61 million). If we look at the Arab region’s electrification rate rose from 88.4% in 2010 to 92.5% in 2018,  making it the most electrified regional group of countries in the developing world. In the LAC regions ,  the number of people without access to electricity fell from 44 million to 12 million between 2000-2017. In Asia around 5% or over 200 million people do not have access to electricity while 1.8 billion people relied on polluted and unhealthy cooking fuels and technologies, which show a steep decline in energy intensity, registering an annual average decline of 2.6% from 2010-2017. Despite the recent acceleration in electrification, the world is still falling short of what is needed to achieve the goal of universal access to electricity by 2030. Reaching the target would require an average increase in access of at least 0.87 percentage points annually through 2030. Concentrated efforts are needed to close the access gap, particularly in Sub. Saharan Africa. There is a need to update ,consistently, our policy framework to capture fast changing developments, such as innovative off-grid solutions and business models. Under current and planned policies, it is estimated that 620 million people will remain without access to electricity in 2030. As the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the pace of energy access, further acceleration of efforts will be needed to get the world on track toward universal access.


As the pandemic is controlled in many of the countries, we need to push the development of the sustainable use of energy to reach its goal by: 1) Embracing solar technologies 2) Crowd fund energy projects 3) Used water processing technologies 4) Wind power for Home or Business


The former  Secretary General of the United Nation, Bon Ki-Moon has said, “Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability. With access to energy, people can study, go to university, get a job, start a business –  and reach their full potential.” Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today – security, climate change, food production, jobs or increasing incomes. Sustainable energy generates opportunity transforms lives, economies and the planet. There are tangible health benefits to having access to electricity and a demonstrable improvement in well being. Energy access therefore constitutes a core component of the sustainable development agenda for energy.




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