Power to the People: Renewables Can Bring Power to 1.3 Billion With No Access

Great strides have been made in the last two decades to bring electricity to the masses, with 1.7 billion more people connected today than in 1990. Latin America has been a pioneer in this regard, boasting an electrification rate of 95%.

But much more remains to be done.

More than 1.3 billion people (30 million in Latin America) currently live their lives without access to electricity, and 85 million live without clean, modern cooking fuels.

Today, on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima Peru, a conference was held to address the issue of rural electrification. The Conference on Universal Access to Energy and Climate, organized by Acciona, highlighted projects underway to help address this issue and discussed funding, scalability and challenges to be overcome.

DG at Acciona EventIRENA’s Director-General joined the event to deliver a keynote speech, stating:

“There is an urgent need to scale-up development efforts aimed at achieving universal access to modern energy services. To meet the 100% energy access target by 2030, the pace of electricity infrastructure expansion will have to nearly double. In this endeavor, renewable energy has a crucial role to play.”

He argued that renewable energy technologies are cost-competitive, mature, modular, adaptable, environmentally friendly and have been proven to work in off-grid environments from Peru to Bangladesh.

So if renewables are cheap, good for the environment, and work so well, why aren’t they being implemented more? Here are a few reasons:

  • Ideology: In order to scale up deployment, the ideology needs to move from a project to project approach, to a market-level approach with targeted incentives and enabling policies.
  • Finance: We currently invest USD 9 billion a year on energy access, but USD 45 billion is needed to achieve universal access (but funds like ADFD are helping bridge this gap).
  • Capacity building: Adequate training and education are needed to support local implementation and decrease independence on foreign know-how.

Renewable energy technologies offer a pathway to leap-frog traditional energy infrastructure and meet the dual objective of increasing socio-economic development in an environmentally sustainable manner.

More information on providing modern energy access for all with renewables.

2 thoughts on “Power to the People: Renewables Can Bring Power to 1.3 Billion With No Access”

  1. I congratulate all those who are gathered in Lima Peru, in the COP 20 in order to fight against global warming and drastically lower consumption of coal and oil, which have generated worldwide poisoning the planet anyway. the burning of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which is one of the main gases that cause global warming.

    Well complex topic, but the problems generally affect all the inhabitants of this world. Solutions and main cooperation have to start from the countries that consume as much fossil fuels

    Energy at present and future is the main purpose of the development of human beings, shows mission is to develop the best renewable energy and reinvigorate renewable energies that exist. Improve, maximize the use of the general fast electric transport over short and long distances with clean energy, substantially change the poisoning of the planet for this technology has put the total service, without meanness and selfishness, for the global good.

    There are clean renewable energies that do not want to develop them for the major problems of multi-million dollar investments in exploitation of fossil fuels and the great existing demand,

    Would be very good that developing countries are the first to generate and use renewable energies, which has very good results down to the maximum costs of energy consumption which is the main source of movement in a country and improve our education and technology as poor countries, it would allow us to move forward in the near future..

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