The proportion of the world’s population with access to electricity will rise over the next 20 years but more than a billion people will still be without power in 2030, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.
The IEA, which advises 28 industrialised countries on energy policy, said most of the people still living without power in 2030 would be in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with four out of five of these people in rural areas.
The agency’s annual World Energy Outlook said that if governments made no change to existing policies, 1.3 billion people, or 16 percent of the world’s population, would still lack access to electricity in 2030, despite widespread prosperity and more advanced technology.
Around 85 percent of the people now without access to electricity live in rural areas, where lack of heating fuel, mechanical power and reliable lighting can increase crime, health risks and poverty.
“Increasing access to electricity is absolutely fundamental part of addressing poverty and achieving development, particularly in marginal ruralised areas where energy poverty is most extreme,” said Robert Bailey, head of climate change at Oxfam.