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A total of 675 million people around the world were without power in 2021, according to a new report released on Tuesday.
A new report published by the International Energy Agency, The International Renewable Energy Agency, the United Nations Statistics Division, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization said that most of the 675 million people without access to electricity were in sub-Saharan Africa.
That figure is about half what it was in 2010, the report found, when more than 1 billion people worldwide were without electricity. Roughly 80% of those without access to electricity were in sub-Saharan Africa in 2010, the report's authors said—the same percentage as 2021.
"While the clean energy transition is moving faster than many think, there is still a great deal of work needed to deliver sustainable, secure and affordable access to modern energy services for the billions of people who live without it," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a Tuesday statement.
The report highlighted another significant problem: public funds supporting clean energy in poorer countries—like those in sub-Saharan Africa—are on the decline. Meanwhile, increased debt levels and skyrocketing energy prices are making even it more challenging to bring affordable electricity to those areas.
The report suggested that we are on track for 1.9 billion people to still be without access to clean cooking methods and 660 million without electricity access by 2030.
"Clean cooking technologies in homes and reliable electricity in health-care facilities can play a crucial role in protecting the health of our most vulnerable populations," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a Tuesday statement.
Last month, Africa's top lender by assets, Standard Bank Group, said that $700 billion in financing would be needed over the next decade to expand green energy development and the mining of key energy transition metals such as cobalt, copper, and lithium—if renewables are to be part of the electricity solution.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.