Energy access is about providing modern energy services to everyone around the world. These services are defined as household access to electricity and clean cooking facilities (e.g. fuels and stoves that do not cause air pollution in houses).

Uneven progress on achieving access to sustainable energy for all

In 2014 the number of people who use traditional, solid fuels to cook rose slightly to 3.04 billion, indicating that efforts are lagging population growth (Photograph: Getty Images) More »»

Experts gather to give strategic direction to upcoming WEO special report

The IEA brought together over 100 experts from 30 countries to provide strategic direction for a new WEO special report titled “Energy Access Outlook: from Poverty to Prosperity” More »»

Role of sustainable energy in ending poverty

President of the Mary Robinson Foundation gives first IEA "big IdEAs" address More »»

Progress towards sustainable energy is underway, but not on track

IEA, World Bank lead latest progress report for the Sustainable Energy for All initiative More »»

About energy access

Modern energy services are crucial to human well-being and to a country’s economic development; and yet globally 1.2 billion people are without access to electricity and more than 2.7 billion people are without clean cooking facilities. More than 95% of these people are either in sub-Saharan African or developing Asia, and around 80% are in rural areas.

Fast facts

  • 17%of global population lack access to electricity, despite modest improvements
  • 38%of global population lack clean cooking facilities