Photo Story: Sustainable Energy for All 2015 – 'Converting commitments to kilowatts '

22 May 2015

More than a billion people – one in five globally – lack electricity to light their homes or conduct business, according to a recent World Bank report. Nearly three billion rely on dangerous, polluting fuels – such as wood, charcoal and animal dung – to cook and heat their homes.

Renewable energy generation and energy efficiency improvements need to accelerate dramatically worldwide if development and climate goals are to be met over the next decade-and-a-half, adds the report – Progress Toward Sustainable Energy: Global Tracking Framework 2015.

Released at the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Forum held in New York this week, the report calls on global policy makers to work toward tripling energy investments, from the current level of $400 billion to $1.25 trillion. Commitments already made under the SE4All initiative, by the European Union, Germany and the United States, are set to help developing countries provide energy access to their underserved citizens, but will fall short of universal access.

“How do we convert commitments to kilowatt hours for real people? That is the trillion-dollar question,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and SE4All chief, Kandeh Yumkella, at the Forum. “This is not about charity. This is about markets and investments. We see this as a trillion-dollar opportunity, not a trillion-dollar challenge.”

Most of the island of Sao Tomé is without any electricity. People battle to build and grow their businesses when they are literally kept in the dark.

Now solar energy is promising them a brighter future. IFAD

 

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