According to the World Bank, nearly 733 million people still live without electricity worldwide. At the current rate of progress, 670 million people will remain without electricity by 2030. About 2.6 billion people cook or heat their homes with polluting fuels that harm their health and the environment.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have sent energy prices soaring, exacerbating energy shortages and energy security concerns, and slowing progress toward access to sustainable and modern energy.
Energy price shocks impact most countries, but developing countries face the highest burdens, especially energy importing countries. They have limited capacity to mitigate energy price increases, leading to energy rationing in some countries and growing poverty.
Nearly 90 million people in Asia and Africa who had gained access to electricity can no longer pay for their energy basic needs. At the same time, rising energy prices have impacted the entire food production and distribution supply chain, causing food prices to also increase, with devastating consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable.
Renewable energy can help countries mitigate climate change, build resilience to volatile prices, and energy cost are debilitating poor energy importing countries.
Solar and wind technologies can become a game changer for many developing countries as solar and wind are abundant, cost-competitive, and a source of reliable power when combined with battery storage. Hydropower also provides clean, renewable energy that is one of the lowest cost sources of electricity for consumers.
Estimates show that connecting 490 million people to solar mini-grids could cut 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions.
While global clean energy investment is picking up, investments in low- and middle-income countries remain at or below 2015 levels. To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, investments in the energy sector in developing countries need to quadruple to $1 trillion in 2030, including a dramatic acceleration of solar, onshore wind, and offshore wind investments.
Source: The World Bank