Energy poverty - How to make modern energy access universal?

Sep 2010

Lack of access to modern energy services is a serious hindrance to economic and social development and must be overcome if the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are to be achieved. This report - which presents the results of joint work of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) – investigates the energy-access challenge. The number of people who need to gain access to modern energy services and the scale of the investments required are estimated, both in the period to 2015 and over the longer term, in order to achieve the proposed goal of universal access to modern energy services by 2030 (AGECC, 2010). The implications of universal access to modern energy services for the global energy market and the environment and health are discussed. This report includes an Energy Development Index and a discussion of the path to improving access to modern energy services, as well as financing mechanisms and the implications for government policy in developing countries.
The focus of this report is on expanding access to modern energy services at the household level. This is but one aspect of overcoming energy poverty. Other aspects include providing access to electricity and mechanical power for income-generating activities, the reliability of the supply to households and to the wider economy and the affordability of energy expenditure at the household level.


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