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UNDP Global

Towards an 'Energy Plus' Approach for the Poor: A Review of Good Practices and Lessons Learned from Asia and the Pacific

Nov 29, 2015

Between 2009 and 2011, the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre led a collaborative review of 17 energy access programmes and projects implemented by governments, development agencies and the private sector in Asia-Pacific.  The review shows that projects and programmes which combine the delivery of energy services with income-generating measures – for example, business development and information support, access to capital and market linkages – have the greatest potential for poverty reduction and economic and human development. The review hence seeks to pave the way for a transition to this ‘Energy Plus’ approach.

Document Highlights

  • The number of poor who lack access to modern energy is staggering. Worldwide, 2.7 billion people (almost 2 billion in Asia-Pacific) rely on the traditional use of biomass for cooking, and 1.4 billion (almost 800 million in Asia-Pacific) do not have access to electricity.
  • Reaching the poor is difficult. Rural areas, where affordability presents a major issue, remain the most deprived: globally, 85 percent of the people who lack access to electricity live in rural areas.
  • Government efforts to expand energy access have focused heavily on electricity. Provision of clean cooking facilities (clean cooking fuels and stoves, advanced biomass cookstoves and biogas plants) has received relatively less attention.