Fast Facts: Universal Energy Access

01 Jul 2011
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Energy access is a development priority

Some 1.4 billion people have no access to electricity and a billion more only have access to unreliable electricity networks. About 3 billion people rely on solid fuels (traditional biomass and coal) to meet their basic needs. Access to modern energy services for cooking and heating, lighting and communications, and mechanical power for productive uses is a vast area of unmet need. The energy access  challenge  is particularly acute in the least developed countries, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The benefits of achieving universal access to modern energy services are transformational: lighting for schools, functioning health clinics, pumps for water and sanitation, cleaner indoor air, faster food-processing and more income-generating opportunities, among others.

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