Over 20% of the global population – 1.4 billion people – lack access to electricity. Some 40% of the global population – 2.7 billion people – rely today on the traditional use of biomass for cooking. In a special early excerpt of the upcoming IEA World Energy Outlook 2010 − “Energy Poverty: How to make modern energy access universal” − the IEA estimates that an investment of $36 billion per year is needed to ensure that every person in the world benefits from access to electricity and clean cooking facilities by 2030.
The energy poverty report, which was carried out in co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was presented on 21 September 2010 on the sidelines of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit in New York at a dinner hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Lack of access to modern energy services is a serious hindrance to economic and social development and must be overcome if the UN MDGs are to be achieved. The report shows that in order to achieve the target of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 an additional 395 million people will need to have access to electricity and an additional 1 billion will need to gain access to clean cooking facilities.
The report states that emerging countries put greater emphasis on electricity expansion than on providing access to clean cooing facilities. And yet it says that household air pollution from the use of biomass in inefficient stoves would lead to over 1.5 million premature deaths per year (over 4 000 per day) in 2030, greater than estimates for premature deaths from malaria, tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS.
The report showcases the 2010 Energy Development Index (EDI) which is designed to track progress in a country’s or region’s transition to the use of modern fuels. By publishing updates of the EDI on an annual basis the IEA hopes to raise the international community’s awareness of energy poverty issues and to assist countries to monitor their progress towards modern energy access.
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