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Energy has long been recognized as essential for humanity to develop and thrive.

Despite recent progress, some 1. These severe energy deficits make it difficult or impossible for many countries to achieve a range of development objectives. A lack of access to clean cooking facilities means that in many countries women spend an average of 1. There is also a significant toll on health. In countries that rely heavily on solid biomass and coal for cooking, household air pollution is responsible for 2. Education, an important driver of poverty reduction and income generation, is hampered by a lack of access to electricity: Over 90 million primary school-aged children in sub-Saharan Africa attend schools without electricity.

For example, agriculture generates around 18 percent of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa and is a large source of employment but accounts for just 2 percent of final electricity consumption and 6 percent of final consumption for diesel. Improved access to energy could help increase agricultural productivity, lower food import bills and create opportunities for those entering the workforce.

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In recent years, the way we think about energy and development has started to shift, and measurable progress is now being made on energy access. The increasing success rate can be attributed to the convergence of several key factors: political will, declining costs of renewables, the emergence of new business models, and a more integrated approach to energy access. Growth of political will is exemplified by inclusion in the SDGs of a goal to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy and the presence of specific energy access targets in the Nationally Determined Contributions submitted to the COP21 Paris Agreement.

In India, strong policy commitments have helped provide electricity access to half a billion people since , putting the country on pace to achieve universal access to electricity in the early s. Technology developments are transforming the electricity access landscape.


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The declining costs of renewables—especially solar—and efficient end-user appliances and LED lights are making electricity increasingly affordable in more remote locations. Why is reaching universal access still a challenge? Those remaining without service are either remote, or poor, or both.

The 'duck curve' is solar energy's greatest challenge

In urban areas it is poor communities that remain unserved. These should be easy to reach, although the informal settlements where many of these poor reside can be difficult to serve with permanent infrastructure. For remote households, extending the main grid can be prohibitively expensive.

The relationship between electricity consumption, trade openness and economic growth in India

Even using off-grid systems to serve these disbursed populations can be financially challenging. Lack of sufficient power generation capacity, poor transmission and distribution infrastructure, high costs of supply to remote areas, or simply a lack of affordability for electricity, are among the biggest hurdles for extending grid-based electricity.

Russia’s Economic Growth and Electricity Consumption – ICDS

For off-grid electrification, including mini grids, the biggest challenges are poor policies, inadequate regulations, lack of planning and institutional support, lack of financing for off-grid entrepreneurs, and affordability for poorer households. A number of countries have made clear progress on expanding electricity access in recent years — and there are common factors among this group.


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These include sustained political commitment and financing, enabling policies and incentives, strong institutions, and the right balance of grid and off-grid. Successful countries have also balanced the objective of the financial viability of electricity suppliers with the need to keep consumer prices affordable, for example through strategic and targeted use of public funding. Applying these fundamentals can take different forms, depending on the local conditions.

Center for Effective Global Action

Vietnam and Ghana, among other countries, have focused much more heavily on grid extension. Seasonal variations have been smoothed out using the moving average method. For the purpose of this article, data with a fixed reference year have been chosen. Figure 2. In order to calculate the changes in GDP based on electricity consumption, the fluctuations of both indicators must be compared against those of the previous quarter of the same year. The ratios are shown in Figure 3. Figure 3.

Changes in quarterly GDP dotted line and electricity consumption solid line compared to the previous period quarter. In other words, the change in electricity consumption does not confirm the increase in GDP claimed by Rosstat.

U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis

This conclusion is compatible with earlier prognoses of economic growth and some expert opinions. The trend line of the connection between GDP and electricity consumption in the figure shows a strong linear relationship in —14 inclusive. The last four years mark a significant exception.