With less than a decade to meet global energy goals, new research from Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) shows that energy access finance continues to be significantly off-track to meet 2030 targets.
This year’s Energizing Finance research series – produced in partnership with Climate Policy Initiative and South Pole – reveals that, yet again, finance levels for electricity and clean cooking remain far below the investment required to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The shortage has reached acute levels in many of the 20 high-impact countries across Africa and Asia with the largest access gaps that the reports track using the latest available data from 2018.
An estimated annual investment of USD 41 billion is needed to achieve universal residential electrification, but only one-third of this – just USD 16 billion in commitments – was tracked by Energizing Finance.
Further, despite the clear need and opportunity of decentralized renewable energy to reach the majority of those without access, finance commitments for renewable energy based mini-grids and off-grid energy systems remain far short of necessary levels, attracting less than 1-1.5 percent of the total finance for electricity tracked.
Based on this data, dire lack of progress and reoccurring disbursement delays, SEforALL estimates that the world will be delayed by decades in meeting SDG7.
“As we deal with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, and the ever growing impacts of climate change, the need for modern, sustainable energy access has never been more important. Yet Energizing Finance shows a chronic lack of investment in electricity and clean cooking for those that need it most. The little finance that is committed is not being disbursed fast enough, stalling energy access projects that will improve people’s lives and grow economies”, said Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.
The Energizing Finance data will be used to support the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Energy, set to take place in September 2021. Finance will be a critical element of the dialogue – held just ahead of COP26 in Glasgow – to spur rapid, significant progress toward universal energy access.