Source/author : SEforALL
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Access to sustainable energy underpins many aspects of a healthy, sustainable economy. It is a child’s ability to turn on lights to study at night and connect to the internet, a family’s ability to cook indoors without inhaling smoke, and a business’s ability to operate and grow, creating jobs and opportunities.
Recognizing this, governments worldwide have set global targets for energy access in Sustainable Development Goal 7, which aims to ensure “universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030. Today, with twelve years to go to achieve the goals, almost one billion people still lack electricity and almost three billion people lack access to clean cooking (Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report 2018).
There are proven technologies and business models that can increase access to clean, affordable and reliable energy to help achieve the goals and spur sustainable development. However, financing these projects and enterprises continues to be a persistent challenge.
Sustainable Energy for All’s Energizing Finance series is the first, and only, in-depth attempt to capture multiple years of data on investment for the two key areas of energy access: electrification and clean cooking. It focuses on public and private finance commitments in 20 developing countries – known as the high-impact countries – that together are home to nearly 80% of those living without access to sustainable energy (See Map ES 1 and Map ES 2). Building upon the first 2017 report that examined financing flows during 2013-14 (averaged annually), this latest report updates these findings with energy access finance commitments from 2015-16, meaning that, for the first time, policy makers and investment leaders can begin to track progress, or lack thereof, in scaling up finance for energy access since agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals.
OVERALL, INVESTMENTS IN BOTH ELECTRICITY AND CLEAN COOKING CONTINUE TO FALL FAR SHORT OF WHAT IS NEEDED TO CLOSE THE ENERGY ACCESS GAP. IN SOME COUNTRIES, INVESTMENT HAS DROPPED BY 50% FROM THE PREVIOUS REPORTING PERIOD. MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE, PARTICULARLY FOR AND BY THOSE COUNTRIES WHERE INVESTMENTS HAVE INCREASED ONLY INCREMENTALLY OR NOT AT ALL, SUCH AS SOME COUNTRIES OF FOCUS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA. THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY CAN, HOWEVER, LOOK TO THE FEW BRIGHT SPOTS WHERE GAINS HAVE BEEN MADE TO FURTHER SCALE UP AND TARGET FINANCE FOR ENERGY ACCESS WHERE IT IS NEEDED MOST, AND LEARN LESSONS FROM THEIR APPARENT SUCCESS.