WEO Week: Hopes for COP26 and beyond
Energy access

Achieving modern energy for all by 2030 is possible

Sustainable Development Goal 7 is a global goal to “ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all by 2030” including universal access to electricity and clean cooking, a greater share of renewables in the energy mix, and a doubling of the rate of improvement of energy efficiency. The IEA is at the forefront of international efforts to assess and understand the persistent energy access deficit and chart a pathway to energy for all by 2030.

Population without access to electricity in Africa, 2000-2020


The Covid-19 crisis is reversing progress on energy access

The worst effects of the pandemic are felt among the most vulnerable. Our analysis shows that the number of people without access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa is set to rise in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, reversing several years of progress. Governments are attending to the immediate public health and economic crisis, utilities and other entities that deliver access face serious financial strains, and borrowing costs have risen significantly in countries where the access deficit is high. In addition, we estimate that a rise in poverty levels worldwide may have already made basic electricity services unaffordable for more than 100 million people who already had electricity connections in Asia and Africa, pushing these households back to relying on more polluting and inefficient sources of energy - 30 million of those concerned households are in Africa.

People gaining access to electricity and clean cooking as a result of the sustainable recovery plan


Access to energy could improve, as a result of a sustainable recovery plan to overcome the Covid-19 crisis

The IEA designed a global sustainable recovery plan for the energy sector, to overcome the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis. The sustainable recovery plan improves security and resilience in a number of ways. It stimulates investment in electricity networks and energy storage, which reduces the risk of supply disruptions; it helps to modernise grids, thus strengthening the ability to withstand and recover from shocks; and it increases affordable access to energy services, helps to integrate increasing shares of variable renewable electricity and improves system reliability. It could foster access to energy.
Our work

The ISGAN TCP is a strategic platform to support high-level government attention and action for the accelerated development and deployment of smarter, cleaner electricity grids around the world. Operating as both an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, and as a TCP, the ISGAN TCP provides an important channel for communication of experience, trends, lessons learned, and visions in support of clean energy objectives as well as new flexible and resilient solutions for smart grids.

The Users TCP’s mission is to provide evidence from socio-technical research on the design, social acceptance and usability of clean energy technologies to inform policy making for clean, efficient and secure energy transitions. Decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation are embedding energy technologies in the heart of our communities. Communities’ response to these changes and use of energy technologies will determine the success of our energy systems. Poorly designed energy policies, and technologies that do not satisfy users’ needs, lead to ‘performance gaps’ that are both energy and economically inefficient. User-centred energy systems are therefore critical for delivering socially and politically acceptable energy transitions.