Our work areas

Energy access

733 million

people don't have access to electricity. That's about one in ten people worldwide.

2.4 billion

people don't have access to clean cooking solutions. That's around one-third of the worldwide population.


of people without electricity live in sub-Saharan Africa.

We mobilize partners to provide access to sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy to 500 million people by 2025 to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals for the world’s poorest communities.

It is unacceptable that 2.4 billion people lack access to clean cooking, and that 733 million people lack access electricity. Access to clean, reliable, affordable energy - Sustainable Development Goal 7 - unlocks opportunities for the world’s poorest and improves people's lives. It enables the achievement of many other Sustainable Development Goals, from helping to alleviate poverty by supporting businesses and supporting access to education and information, healthcare, clean water, food security to empowering women, and advancing climate action.

As part of the UN-Energy Pledge and because access to energy is a pre-condition socio-economic development, UNDP’s 2022 - 2025 Strategic Plan has put access to energy at the heart of UNDP’s mission by pledging to mobilize partners to enable 500 million additional people to have access to sustainable, affordable, reliable energy by 2025, focusing on those furthest behind. Our Pathway to 500 million people outlines how we will get there.

Our focus

  • Our work on energy access includes access to electricity and access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking.

  • We focus on catalyzing financing for scalable and integrated programming in nexus areas, including health, agriculture, and gender, to enable progress on multiple Sustainable Development Goals. As such, we prioritize projects that support the productive use of energy. In addition, ongoing country-level action assessment opportunities aim to maximise impact by building on existing initiatives, and identifying new ones, to at least half participating countries’ current energy access deficit by 2025. 

  • We work across a range of contexts to reach last-mile communities – urban and rural, in least developed, developing and emerging countries. The majority of our energy access portfolio is in sub-Saharan Africa, where 75% of the world’s un-electrified population and 40% of the world’s population without access to clean cooking lives. 



Our impact

Our flagship initiatives

Our flagships initiatives are the implementation vehicles of the Sustainable Energy Hub. Scaling them up will be key to reach our target of mobilizing partners to provide sustainable energy to 500 million people by 2025.

Resources and tools