Energy Access


In 2015, 193 Member States of the United Nations agreed as part of the Sustainable Development Goals on SDG 7, a specific goal to “ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all by 2030” – universal access to electricity and clean cooking.  For nearly 20 years, the International Energy Agency has been at the forefront of international efforts to assess and understand the persistent energy access deficit and chart a pathway to Energy for All by 2030.

Achieving modern energy for all by 2030 is possible, bringing with it big benefits for minimal expenditure.

Our recently updated data on energy access available in World Energy Outlook 2018 show that progress has been made worldwide. The number of people without electricity access fell below 1 billion for the first time in 2017. Meanwhile, updated data shows that the number of people without access to clean cooking facilities has been gradually declining, but still amounted to 2.7 billion people globally in 2017.

To provide universal electricity for all, decentralised systems, led by solar PV in off-grid and mini-grid systems, will be the least-cost solution for three-quarters of the additional connections needed, but that grid extension will still have a role to play, especially in urban areas. Achieving clean cooking for all relies primarily on the deployment of LPG, natural gas and electricity in urban areas and a range of technologies in rural areas.

Learn more in World Energy Outlook 2018, our Key Findings for Access to Energy Outlook 2017 or watch our online webinar.

Our work on Energy access