WORLD-GEN June/July 2018

WORLD-GEN June/July 2018

WORLD-GENERATION JUNE/JULY 2018 12 LISBON, PORTUGAL - The world is not on track to meet the global energy tar- gets for 2030 set as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG7), but real progress is being made in certain areas, particularly expansion of access to elec- tricity in least developed countries, and industrial energy efficiency, according to a new report from five international agen- cies. Renewable energy is making impres- sive gains in the electricity sector, although these are not being matched in transportation and heating – which together account for 80% of global energy consumption. While global trends are disappointing, recent national experiences around the world offer encouraging signs. There is mounting evidence that with the right approaches and policies, countries can make substantial gains in clean energy and energy access, and improve the lives of millions. The following are some of the main findings of the report. ACCESSTO ELECTRICITY One billion people – or 13% of the world’s population – still live without elec- tricity. Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and South Asia continue to be the areas of the world with the largest access deficits. Almost 87% of the world’s people without electricity live in rural areas. The number of people gaining access to power has been accelerating since 2010, but needs to ramp up further to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030. If current trends continue, an esti- mated 674 million people will still live without electricity in 2030. Some of the strongest gains were made in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, which all increased their elec- tricity access rate by 3% or more annually between 2010 and 2016. Over the same period, India provided electricity to 30 million people annually, more than any other country. Sub-Saharan Africa’s elec- trification deficit has begun to fall in abso- lute terms for the first time. Tens of millions of people now have access to electricity through solar home systems or connected to mini-grids. However, these remain concentrated in about a dozen pioneering countries where penetration of solar electricity can reach as much as 5-15% of the population. CLEAN COOKING Three billion people – or more than 40% of the world’s population – do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies. Household air pollution from burning biomass for cooking and heating is responsible for some 4 million deaths a year, with women and children at the greatest risk. Parts of Asia have seen access to clean cooking outpace growth in popula- tion. These positive outcomes were driven largely by widespread dissemination of LPG or piped natural gas. In India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam, the pop- ulation with access to clean cooking tech- nologies grew by more than 1% of their population annually. In Sub-Saharan Africa, however, pop- ulation growth in recent years has out- stripped the number of people gaining access to clean cooking technologies by a ratio of four to one. Clean cooking continues to lag the furthest behind of all the four energy tar- gets, due to low consumer awareness, financing gaps, slow technological prog- ress, and lack of infrastructure for fuel production and distribution. If the current trajectory continues, 2.3 billion people will continue to use traditional cooking methods in 2030. ENERGY EFFICIENCY There is mounting evidence of the uncoupling of growth and energy use. Global gross domestic product (GDP) grew nearly twice as fast as primary ener- gy supply in 2010-15. Economic growth outpaced growth in energy use in all regions, except for Western Asia, where GDP is heavily tied to energy-intensive industries, and in all income groups. However, progress continues to be slow in low income countries, where energy intensity is higher than the global aver- age. Globally, energy intensity – the ratio of energy used per unit of GDP – fell at an accelerating pace of 2.8% in 2015, the fast- est decline since 2010. This improved the average annual decline in energy intensity to 2.2 % for the period 2010-2015. However, performance still falls short of the 2.6% yearly decline needed to meet the SDG7 target of doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030. Improvement in industrial energy intensity, at 2.7% per annum since 2010, was particularly encouraging, as this is the largest energy consuming sector over- all. Progress in the transport sector was more modest, especially for freight trans- portation, and is a particular challenge for high-income countries. In low and mid- dle-income countries, the energy intensi- ty of the residential sector has been increasing since 2010. Six of the 20 countries that represent 80 percent of the world’s total primary energy supply, including Japan and the US, reduced their annual primary energy supply in 2010-15 while continuing to grow GDP – indicating a peak in energy use. Among the large energy-intensive developing economies, China and Indonesia stood out with annual improve- ment exceeding 3 percent. RENEWABLE ENERGY As of 2015, the world obtained 17.5% of its total final energy consumption from renewable sources, of which 9.6% repre- sents modern forms of renewable energy such as geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind. The remainder is traditional uses of biomass (such as fuelwood and charcoal). Based on current policies, the renew- able share is expected to reach just 21% TRACKING SDG7 BYTIM HURST PERSPECTIVE (continued page 17)

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