Will we all have clean, affordable, sustainable energy?

Will we all have clean, affordable, sustainable energy?

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Clean affordable sustainable energy

Over the years, one of the most important inventions that have become part of human civilization is electricity. It’s now a basic essential for our life and we cannot imagine a life without this energy. When electricity goes out during day or night for any reason, it affects our life enormously. ‘No electricity’ accounts for total shutdown as most of our equipment, and electrical and electronics run through this power only. Interestingly, a power-cut means no work and no life.

We cannot imagine if there is still a life without electric in any part of the world. But the world is far more than our mere imagination. Still, a significantly larger humanity is spending a life without this energy around the globe. The last decade accounted for a lot more people gaining access to electricity than anytime earlier. However, some countries like Nigeria, DR Congo and Ethiopia saw growing number of no connections, says a UN report. Electricity may not reach an estimated 660 million people by 2030.

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Clean affordable sustainable energy for all?

The recently published UN report on universal access to energy warns, these off-the-grid nations may miss 2030 energy goal. This will happen if desired actions are not implemented immediately. Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for everyone is an aim of seventh Sustainable Development Goal (SDG7). But the latest report tells a different story. Over last decade, one billion people gained access to electric power, revealed the report, but with uneven progress on SDG7.

However, the pandemic has aggravated the prevalent inequalities in terms of energy access. 30 million people, particularly in Africa, found basic electricity services unaffordable due Covid-19 economic effects, says the Tracking SDG7 report. Enhancing clean and sustainable energy is key to protect human health and to promote healthier populations, especially in remote and countryside areas, said WHO Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health Maria Neira.

Covid-related energy disparities exacerbated

As per the report, electric power is now accessible to 90 percent of people around the world. If not addressed, the Covid-linked exacerbated disparities may undermine the sustainable energy goal, endangering objectives of other SDGs and Paris Agreement, said World Bank Development Policy and Partnerships Managing Director Mari Pangestu. The study also evaluated ways to bridge gaps towards SDG7, and particularly found renewables more resilient during pandemic.

Despite renewable sources contributing to the largest part in its energy produce, Sub-Saharan Africa still lacks “clean” energy with 85 percent use of biomass. The report also outlined other must take actions regarding clean cooking, energy efficiency and international financial flows. The report was published collectively by the International Energy Agency (IAE), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), World Bank, and World Health Organization (WHO).

Renewable energy more cost effective

Earlier in mid 2020, another UN report revealed that when the fossil fuel industry is affected by pandemic, renewable energy come out as more cost-effective-than-ever solution. That offers the world a chance to prioritize clean energy in national economic recovery packages, helping in Paris Agreement goals, said the study. Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020 report said, an investment in renewables will help produce more than ever generation capacity, stepping up our climate action.

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