It is possible to provide universal electricity access to the billions of the world’s poor who currently lack it by 2030 says a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), as long as the international community is prepared to make the effort.
According to the Energy for All: Financing access for the poor report over 1.3bn people, around 20 per cent of the global population, lack access to electricity, and 2.7bn people (40 per cent) are without clean cooking facilities.
More than 95 per cent of these people are either in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia, and access to electricity would fundamentally improve their lives by improving education and health, and encouraging economic growth, without significantly impacting on global emissions.
The report, which is an excerpt of the soon to be published World Energy Outlook 2011, concludes an annual investment of $48bn per year will be required to provide universal energy access within 20 years. This is more than five times the current level of investment in energy access expansion, but it only represents around 3 per cent of projected global energy investment
Of the $48bn, $18bn would need to come from multilateral and bilateral development sources,$15bn from the governments of developing countries and another $15bn from the private sector says the IEA. This means that all sources of funding need to grow significantly, with the private sector needing to increase the most.
The report also concluded that national governments have to adopt strong governance and regulatory frameworks, and invest in internal capacity building.
The public sector, including multilateral and bilateral institutions, needs to use its tools to leverage greater private sector investment and encourage the development of transferable business models.
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