Poor people’s energy outlook 2010

Poor people’s energy outlook 2010

A publication calling for universal access to basic energy services

Many people in the world still lack access to electricity and rely on traditional biomass and coal for cooking. According to this report, energy poverty is critically undermining the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The publication sets out to reconnect policy with people by bringing together a more textured picture of energy access. It provides insights into the ways people currently use energy, the constraints on expansion of access to energy and the indicators that can be used to measure progress.

To achieve universal access to basic energy services, action is required in the areas of policy, financing and capabilities. The paper recommends that on policy, national governments need to give greater priority to energy access. This involves:

  • setting national targets for universal access to energy services by 2030
  • formulating and implementing plans to deliver these targets with the support of multilateral organisations, international agencies, the private sector and civil society
  • providing an enabling policy and institutional environment, including clear sectoral policies to enable all stakeholders to contribute within a widening and deepening ecosystem of energy product and service providers.
The publication suggests addressing gaps in funding through various sources of financing, including:
  • national budgets
  • concessional loans from national and international financial institutions
  • capital grants, with official development assistance from bilateral and multilateral organisations
  • cross-subsidisation and end-user tariffs generating funds within the energy sector
  • mobilisation of private investment, including local capital
  • new funding mechanisms, such as those linked to finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation or Tobin tax arrangements.
On capabilities and capacities, the paper proposes that the capacity of a wide range of actors to design and deliver a variety of energy services should be developed. Moreover, technology and knowledge transfer and adoption from across the world, including involvement of universities, research and education institutions in the North and South, must be promoted.
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