The pace of global progress on providing access to electricity, energy efficiency and renewable is not moving fast enough to meet 2030 targets.
That’s according to a new joint report launched by the World Bank and the International Energy Agency (IEA), which shows the increase in people getting access to power is slowing down.
The report projects the world will only reach 92% electrification by 2030 if the trend is not reversed.
That’s short of universal access and related targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by UN Member States in 2015.
Only energy efficiency made progress towards meeting the objectives, with energy savings during the 2012/14 Global Tracking Framework (GTF) reporting period enough to supply Brazil and Pakistan combined.
Out of the 20 largest energy consuming countries, Australia, China, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and the UK cut energy intensity by more than 2% every year, with the industrial sector making the greatest reductions.
To meet the Sustainable Energy for All objectives, renewable energy and energy efficiency investment would need to rise.
To reach universal access by 2030, the report suggests a five-fold increase would be needed.
On access to clean cooking, the number of people who use traditional, solid fuels to cook rose slightly to 3.04 billion – or 57.4%, barely up from 2012 – “indicating efforts are lagging population growth”.
Rachel Kyte, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All said: “If we’re to make access to clean, affordable and reliable energy a reality, action must be driven through political leadership. This new data is a warning for world leaders to take more focused, urgent action on access to energy and clean cooking, improving efficiency and use of renewables to meet our goals.
“While we are making some progress – with many of the technologies we need available and policy roadmaps increasingly clear – it’s not enough. We all made the commitment to act and every day we delay, it becomes more painful and expensive.”