The International Energy Agency (“IEA”) recently published its findings on energy access in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (“SDG”) Summit in New York this week.
The number of people without access globally increased in 2022 for the first time in decades, rising to roughly 760 million. This setback was primarily concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa.
The pace at which people are gaining access to electricity still lags far behind the rate seen before the pandemic and remains inadequate to achieve the UN SDG7: Access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all by 2030. To achieve this target, more than 120 million people need to gain access each year to 2030 – in 2023, this number is set to be less than 30 million.
Despite this, setbacks in grid access were partially offset by robust growth in solar home systems; sales in West and East Africa rose by over 50% in 2022. NextEnergy Foundation (“NEF”) is contributing to energy access with solar home systems through SolarAid’s Light a Village programme. You can read more about the impacts to date here: SolarAid – NextEnergy Foundation.
Expansion of solar lanterns and multi-light systems are another promising development in sub-Saharan Africa, where ~18% of the population without grid access now benefits from a solar lantern or multi-light system. NEF has been donating solar lanterns to students since 2017, with wider benefits to families and community members. Read more about our solar lantern work with Finca, the Mwezi Foundation, and SolarAid by following the links.
We are proud to be advancing SDG 7; contributing to improvements in energy access; and, generating a brighter future for all, together.