840 Million People Worldwide Have No Electricity
Electricity, a lynch-pin for sustainable development, remains an elusive service for hundreds of millions of people in the poorest nations in the world.
In addition to the 840 million people without electricity, the United Nations estimates that about 3 billion people worldwide rely on inefficient cooking systems that contribute to pollution.
Access to affordable and clean electricity is also closely connected with development of renewable energy resources, and better access to transportation and heating.
“Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today,” notes a United Nations report. “Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential. Working towards this goal is especially important as it interlinks with other sustainable development goals.”
Access to energy and the increased use of renewable energy is crucial to creating more sustainable and inclusive communities, and providing resilience to environmental such as climate change, the UN report notes. And progress is being made regarding the use of renewable electricity from water, solar and wind power.
But, the UN report says, the challenge is far from being solved and there needs to be more access to clean fuel and technology and more progress needs to be made regarding integrating renewable energy into end-use applications in buildings, transport and industry. Public and private investments in energy also need to be increased, says the UN, and more focus on regulation is needed.