675 million people worldwide without electricity

Wednesday, Jun 07, 2023

GENEVA: A full 675 million people worldwide still lack access to electricity, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a report published on Tuesday by several international organisations. Despite significant efforts and some progress, the world continues to face a dramatic energy access gap, according to the report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation.

The report cautioned that the world remained off track to ensure clean and affordable energy access for all by 2030 -- one of the so-called Sustainable Development Goals set by all UN countries in 2015. The world has seen “a recent slowdown in the global pace of electrification,” World Bank vice president for infrastructure Guangzhe Chen said in a joint statement.

While the number of people living without electricity has been cut in half in the past decade, from 1.1 billion in 2010, 675 million people were still doing without in 2021, the report said. Around 80 percent of them live in sub-Saharan Africa, where the electricity access deficit has remained basically unchanged since 2010, the report said.It highlighted progress elsewhere though, in particular the increased rate of using renewables in the power sector, but warned this progress was “insufficient” to reach the UN-set targets. Citing IRENA data, the report also cautioned that public financial flows supporting clean energy in poorer countries had been decreasing even before the Covid pandemic hit.