Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report says that during the past decade, a greater share of the global population gained access to electricity than ever before, but the number of people without electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa increased. Unless efforts are scaled up significantly in countries with the largest deficits, the world will still fall short of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030.
The report was released by the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), World Bank, and World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the report, significant progress has been made since 2010 on various aspects of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7, but progress has been unequal across regions. More than 1 billion people gained access to electricity globally over the past decade, but COVID’s financial impact has made basic electricity services unaffordable for 30 million more people, the majority located in Africa. Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia had the biggest electricity access deficits, with Ethiopia replacing India in the Top 3.
Globally, the number of people without access to electricity declined from 1.2 billion in 2010 to 759 million in 2019. Electrification through decentralized renewable-based solutions in particular gained momentum. The number of people connected to mini grids more than doubled between 2010 and 2019, growing from 5 million to 11 million. However, an estimated 660 million people would still lack access in 2030, most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report examines ways to bridge the gaps to reach SDG7, chief among them the goal of significantly scaling up renewables. While renewable energy has seen unprecedented growth over the past decade, its share of total final energy consumption remained steady as global energy consumption grew at a similar rate. Renewables are