Energy Access

Access to electricity

1 in 10

people in the world - 733 million - doesn't have access to electricity.


of the world's un-electrified population lives in sub-Saharan Africa.

We work with countries and partners to provide access to electricity, and the opportunities and dignity it brings, to last-mile communities.

Huge gains have been made in the last decades, with the share of the global population with access to electricity going from 73% in 1998 to 90% in 2020. However, a key barrier that remains and hinders efforts to reach universal access to electricity is a lack of funding for off-grid, sustainable energy solutions that can bring electricity to last-mile communities. It’s estimated that between US$ 35 billion and 40 billion are needed annually to reach universal electricity access between 2021 and 2030 to reach universal access to electricity. Public financing won’t be enough – this requires commercial capital. However, clean energy investments in developing countries are often still perceived as too risky by private investors.

UNDP's key principle to increase access to electricity is to work with governments to put in place the policies and regulations that de-risk and enable such investments. 

Our focus

  • Removing investment barriers, with a focus on off-grid rural electrification. We work with governments to put in place the policies and regulations that enable large-scale clean energy investments in developing countries. To do so, we have developed the De-Risking Renewable Energy Investment (DREI) Framework – a unique methodology to help governments systematically identify barriers to clean energy investments, including in off-grid settings. 

  • Maximizing the development benefits of electricity access by helping countries implement integrated sustainable energy solutions that advance progress on many Sustainable Development Goals. To do so, we focus on supporting the productive uses of energy.