World Energy Outlook: Population without access to electricity falls below 1 billion

Over 120 million people worldwide gained access to electricity in 2017. For the first time ever, the total number of people without access fell below 1 billion according to the World Energy Outlook 2018.

India completed electrification of villages. Indonesia’s the electrification rate is almost at 95%, up from 50% in 2000. In Bangladesh, electricity now reaches 80% of the population, up from 20% in 2000.

Kenya’s access rate increased from 8% in 2000 to 73% today. Ethiopia’s reaches 45% compared with just 5% in 2000.

National plans aim at reaching universal access by 2030 or earlier, with off-grid solutions as increasingly important.

The number of people without access to clean cooking facilities has begun to gradually decline, in part due to an increased reliance on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and on improved biomass cookstoves. This will result in fewer premature deaths related to household air pollution.

However despite all of these stories of progress and success, the world still remains off-track in its efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7.1 to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by 2030.

The population without access to electricity remains at 600 million in sub-Saharan Africa – totalling 57% of population – and 15 countries in that region have access rates below 25%. Meanwhile 350 million people lack access in developing Asia, or 9%. In addition, nearly 2.7 billion people lack access to clean cooking facilities worldwide, relying instead on biomass, coal or kerosene as their primary cooking fuel.

As we celebrate the achievements of the past year, there remains an urgent need for further action.

Released on 13th November: