Power poles in India. Photo: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The number of people worldwide without access to electricity fell below 1 billion for the first time last year, according to newly updated International Energy Agency data.
Why it matters: Expanding essential energy services is a widely recognized worldwide need.
- The United Nations' wider list of Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 includes universal access to "affordable, reliable and modern energy services."
The big picture: Over 120 million people gained access last year, IEA said in releasing a snapshot of data in its upcoming annual World Energy Outlook.
- "However, progress continues to be uneven, with three-quarters of the 570 million people who gained access since 2011 concentrated in Asia," IEA's summary of the data states.
- Power access remains low in large swaths of Africa.
Details: Here are a few snapshots from IEA's update...
- "[O]ne of the greatest success stories in access to energy in 2018 was India completing the electrification of all of its villages."
- "Many other Asian countries have also seen significant progress."
- "In Indonesia, 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."
- In Kenya, access has grown from 8% in 2000 to 73% now.
But, but, but: Africa remains a major challenge.
- "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%," the IEA commentary states.