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Energy access

Achieving modern energy for all by 2030 seems unlikely

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 is to “ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all by 2030,” including universal access to electricity and clean cooking, a greater share of renewables in the energy mix, and a doubling of the rate of improvement of energy efficiency. Achieving full access by 2030 will require connecting almost 100 million people every year, but the world is not on track to reach this goal. The IEA is 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.

People without access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, 2000-2021


The Covid-19 crisis stalled improvements in energy access

Today 770 million people worldwide still live without access to electricity, mostly in Africa and developing countries in Asia. The Covid‐19 crisis delivered a setback, slowing progress on new connections while also weakening the ability of households to pay for electricity. Preliminary data show that the global number of people without access was broadly stuck at where it was between 2019 and 2021, after improving 9% annually on average between 2015 and 2019. In sub‐Saharan Africa the number of people without access increased in 2020 for the first time since 2013. Most developing countries in Asia, especially India and countries in Southeast Asia, are on track to achieve near universal access by 2030, but the access rate in sub‐Saharan Africa reaches only 60% by the end of the decade, up from 50% in 2019.

Global sustainable recovery spending by governments in response to Covid-19 compared to green spending levels enacted in post-global financial crisis stimulus plans


Governments worldwide have mobilised fiscal support aimed at stabilising and rebuilding their economies in response to the Covid-19 crisis

Governments worldwide have earmarked over USD 710 billion in sustainable recovery measures as of end-March 2022, according to the latest IEA estimates. This is the largest ever clean energy recovery effort, 40% higher than what was spent after the global financial crisis.

The IEA Sustainable Recovery Tracker measures global recovery plans by monitoring energy-related policies and government spending on clean energy measures by country and by sector in the wake of the pandemic. Also, by evaluating the actual impact on total public and private recovery spending on clean energy measures. The Tracker relies on new, extensive policy analysis conducted by the IEA, including new modelling to estimate how much government spending mobilises private sector participation by region and measure type.
Our work

The ISGAN TCP is a strategic platform to support high-level government attention and action for the accelerated development and deployment of smarter, cleaner electricity grids around the world. Operating as both an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, and as a TCP, the ISGAN TCP provides an important channel for communication of experience, trends, lessons learned, and visions in support of clean energy objectives as well as new flexible and resilient solutions for smart grids.

The Users TCP’s mission is to provide evidence from socio-technical research on the design, social acceptance and usability of clean energy technologies to inform policy making for clean, efficient and secure energy transitions. Decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation are embedding energy technologies in the heart of our communities. Communities’ response to these changes and use of energy technologies will determine the success of our energy systems. Poorly designed energy policies, and technologies that do not satisfy users’ needs, lead to ‘performance gaps’ that are both energy and economically inefficient. User-centred energy systems are therefore critical for delivering socially and politically acceptable energy transitions.