Renewable energy

WHAT DOES A BRIGHTER FUTURE LOOK LIKE?

COULD YOU LIVE WITH THE LIGHTS OFF?

1.3 billion people worldwide live without electricity. That's more than 1 in 5 people around the globe.

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND PREPARING FOR ONE MEAL?

2.6 BILLION are without clean cooking facilities, and rely on wood, coal, and other pollution-causing fuels

That’s more than 1 IN 3 PEOPLE

Collecting firewood

Collecting firewood

Fetching water

Fetching water

Fetching water

Manually processing grains

Fetching water

Cooking over a wood-fueled fire

Arrow Separator

Many people must spend hours every day collecting firewood or animal waste to fuel their stoves, in addition to fetching and carrying clean water, and often walking long distances in the process. That's not to mention the time it takes to actually prepare the meal — grinding and preparing grains and produce and building fires.

WHERE DO THE WORLD'S ENERGY-POOR PEOPLE LIVE?

Africa. 67% without electricity and 57% without clean cooking facilities. Sub-Saharan Africa. 79% without electricity and 68% without clean cooking facilities. North Africa. 1% without electricity and 1% without clean cooking facilities. Latin America. 15% without electricity and 5% without clean cooking facilities. Brazil. 6% without electricity and 1% without clean cooking facilities. Developing Asia. 17% without electricity and 51% without clean cooking facilities. India. 66% without electricity and 25% without clean cooking facilities. Pakistan. 63% without electricity and 31% without clean cooking facilities. Indonesia. 42% without electricity and 31% without clean cooking facilities. China. 33% without electricity and 0% without clean cooking facilities. Middle East. 4% without electricity and 9% without clean cooking facilities.

HOW DOES YOUR ENERGY CONSUMPTION COMPARE ACROSS THE GLOBE?

New York State consumes as much energy as the entire population of Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa).


Sub-Saharan Africa Population: 911.5 million. NY State population: 19.7 million.
Midtown Manhattan uses more energy than all of Kenya.
Midtown Manhattan: 5 square miles. Kenya: 224,961 square miles

WHAT DIFFERENCE CAN ACCESS TO ENERGY MAKE?

It’s not just about light bulbs and television. Energy is about:

Education icon

Education

Better Health Icon

Better Health

Equality Icon

Equality

Economic growth icon

Economic Growth

Safety icon

Safety

OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATION

291+ MILLION primary school students attend schools without electricity

1 IN 2 students in developing countries

Advantages of electricity:

Children icon

Children can spend less time on domestic chores, and more time in school instead

Children icon

The ability to study after dark

Children icon

Access to computers, television, and radio

COMBATTING DISEASE

4.3 MILLION DEATHS in 2012 were linked to indoor air pollution in homes using biomass, wood, and coal stoves

More than AIDS- and malaria-related deaths combined

Fire Pot

In Sri Lankan households without electricity, infant mortality is more than

3x

as high compared to homes with electricity

Access to modern energy often replaces harmful biomass-burning stoves, but that’s not its only health benefit. It has the potential to improve public health on a broad scale. TV and radio spread important health information. Meanwhile, clinics can stay open longer and offer better care — including vaccines that could save the lives of countless children and adults. These vaccines often require refrigeration.

EQUALITY FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS

Collecting cow dung for fuel is the main reason girls aged 10-12 are kept out of school in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu
Click to play video

Access to modern energy creates opportunities, in the form of extra time, for women and girls to attend school and pursue work and goals outside of the home. Electrification results in 1-4 hours saved every day in tasks often performed by women, including cooking, food processing, water collection, and fuel collection.

BETTER FOR BUSINESS

7 IN 10 Sub-Saharan African businesses say lack of a reliable electricity source is a main impediment to doing business

Houses

Energy creates opportunities for people to start up a business, earn a living, and feed their families. It allows businesses to produce more products, and sell those products outside their immediate area. These businesses can mean a huge economic boost: electrified industries in rural Bangladesh create 11X more employment on average than non-electrified industries.

SAFER STREETS

The majority of people without electricity at home also lack access to street lighting. By 2020, about 90% of road traffic deaths around the world will occur in low- and middle-income countries, with higher risk of accidents happening at night. Street lighting can help reduce these numbers.

Safer Streets

Meanwhile, street lighting offers the chance for economic expansion, since businesses can sell their wares at night. Women are more likely to frequent these businesses, since it will be safer for them to leave their homes after dark.

ENERGIZING COMMUNITIES AROUND THE GLOBE

UNDP supports more than 100 developing countries in energy-related projects. Here are just some of the impacts of UNDP-supported projects around the globe.

Previous photo Next photo

NEPAL

From 2009 to 2011, the Rural Energy Development Programme connected 50,000+ households to micro-hydropower installations, and helped almost 1 million Nepalese access electricity from renewable energy sources. For each micro-hydro system, 40 new businesses are created.

Learn More

NICARAGUA

Over 10 years, the percentage of the population with electricity access increased from less than 50% to about 70%. Micro-enterprises are emerging as local community members, including women, discover new business opportunities and increase their incomes.

Learn More

WEST AFRICA

More than 3.5 million rural people are benefitting from expanded energy services in 12 Sub-Saharan countries. Electricity and infrastructure help businesses expand and create job opportunities. A 2011 study found 27,900+ jobs were created in Mali alone.

Learn More

MOLDOVA

The government has committed to increasing the share of renewable energy to up to 20% of national consumption by 2020. Much of this energy can come from biomass fuel made from carbon-neutral agricultural waste, which doesn’t contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

Learn More

BOTSWANA

80% of Botswana’s rural population uses firewood. Solar-powered heating systems and lighting appliances were introduced in some 88 villages off the country's main electricity grid, saving women and girls valuable time on firewood collection, and enabling children to spend more time in school.

Learn More

BRAZIL

53,000 indigenous people in Brazil can lead healthier lives due to the introduction of high-efficiency eco-stoves. These stoves reduce respiratory problems, and use firewood more efficiently, producing less greenhouse gas as a result.

Learn More
Lightbulb

YOU CAN TURN THE LIGHTS ON

JOIN THE MOVEMENT

Tweet a message
Tweet a message

Help make energy accessible to all of us and spread the word by sharing this page on your social media channels.

 
Take a Survey

Take a survey to help set the next global development agenda by clicking above. Share your ideas: #MyWorld2015

Take a Survey

Help achieve sustainable energy for all by 2030 by committing to 3 goals.


Take a Survey

Learn how different U.S. states can transition to 100% clean and renewable energy.

Take a Survey

Join our campaign and share your photos of how you use energy in your daily life with #SE4ALL on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter! We’ll feature a selection on Storify.