The world is falling short of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGD) for 2030 when 2.2 billion people are estimated to be without access to clean cooking while 650 million will live in the dark, despite more people worldwide having greater access to power than before, according to a new report released Wednesday.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO) produced the report entitled Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress.
The SGD7, which is the affordable and clean energy target under the sustainable energy goals of the United Nations, aims by 2030 to have universal access to affordable reliable and modern energy services and increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
It also targets doubling the global improvement rate of energy efficiency and enhancing international cooperation to facilitate clean energy research and technology by 2030.
The expansion of infrastructure and upgrade of technology to supply modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular, the least developed countries is another target by 2030.
The newly released study found that notable progress has been made in energy access in recent years, with the number of people living without electricity dropping to roughly 840 million from 1 billion in 2016 and 1.2 billion in 2010.
India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Myanmar are among countries that made the most progress since 2010 but 650 million people will still be left without access to electricity in 2030 without more sustained and stepped-up actions, according to the report.
Nine out of 10 of the 650 million people will be living sub-Saharan Africa, the report showed.
The report also revealed that the use of renewable energy has spread and many improvements in energy efficiency across the world have also been seen. However, access to clean cooking solutions and the use of renewable energy for heat generation and transport are still lagging far behind the goals.
"Maintaining and extending the pace of progress in all regions and sectors will require stronger political commitment, long-term energy planning, increased private financing and adequate policy and fiscal incentives to spur faster deployment of new technologies," the report underlined.
- 2.2 billion will be without access to clean cooking in 2030
According to three key progress targets nationally and globally, the electrification rate reached 89% while 153 million people gained access to electricity each year in the world. Nonetheless, big challenges still remain in remote areas.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 573 million people still live in the dark, the study noted. Furthermore, 2.2 billion people will be without access to clean cooking which poses serious health and socioeconomic concerns.
The number of people without access to clean cooking numbered around 3 billion in 2017.
There is a need for a further substantial increase in renewable energy for energy systems to become affordable, reliable and sustainable focusing on modern uses along with strengthening mandatory energy efficiency policies, the report highlighted.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya