In 2021, an estimated 770 million people worldwide did not have access to electricity. 1 The number of people without access fell significantly in the last decade, from 1,153 million in 2010 to 759 million in 2019. 2 However, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed global progress in reaching universal electricity access, as a decline in new grid and off-grid connections led to a 2% increase in the population without access in 2021. 3 ( See Snapshot: Chad.) The greatest change occurred in Asia, where the gap in electricity access shrank four-fold over the decade (while it increased slightly in sub-Saharan Africa). 4

Most world regions enjoy electricity access rates above 94%. 5 Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the lowest access rate, at 46% in 2019, representing 570 million people who lack access. 6 Most of the gap in electricity access can be attributed to 20 countries where population growth has outpaced the electrification rate, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and Nigeria. 7 Access remains lower in rural areas (640 million without access) than in urban areas (116 million). 8

In 2019, around 2.6 billion people worldwide did not have access to clean cooking. 9 Annual growth in access is slow, averaging 1% for the decade, and the target for universal access to clean cooking by 2030 may fall short by 30%. 10 In 2019, for the first time, sub-Saharan Africa was home to more people without access to clean fuels and clean cooking technologies than any other region. 11 More than 80% of the access gap in clean cooking is concentrated in 20 countries, with the largest gaps (access rates of 5% or below) in the DRC, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Tanzania and Uganda. 12

Between 2019 and 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people without access to clean cooking increased by around 30 million, or 1%. 13 In developing regions of Asia, many people who recently had gained access to clean cooking fuels reverted to traditional fuels for financial reasons. 14 A similar reversal was observed in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of people without access to clean cooking is expected to have increased to an estimated 4% above pre-pandemic levels. 15

Lack of access to cooling is impacting an estimated

1.1 billion people .

Globally, lack of access to cooling is impacting an estimated 1.1 billion people, especially in Bangladesh, India and Nigeria. 16 In these countries, an estimated 40% of the total food produced is wasted due to inadequate refrigeration and storage. 17 Increasingly, countries such as India, Kenya and Nigeria are deploying solar-powered cold rooms, using various business solutions to provide value to small farmers. 18 By the end of 2021, 6 countries had developed national cooling action plans – which include assessments of risk and cooling demand as well as detailed interventions to advance the deployment of cooling technologies – and 23 countries were developing them. 19 ( See Figure 46.)

Around 450 million people across Africa, including more than 70% of the continent's rural population, lack access to (sustainable) mobilityi due to limited transport infrastructure. 20 ( See Transport section in Global Overview chapter.) “Micro-mobility” solutions such as electrified bikes, scooters, and three-wheelers, as well as battery charging services, are emerging as an opportunity to expand transport access, including through the use of renewables. 21 In Kenya and Uganda, where motorcycle taxis (boda-bodas) and tuk-tuks are popular for transporting goods and services (and provide employment for young people), possibilities exist for converting to electric solutions. 22


Source: SEforALL. See endnote 19 for this chapter.

iThe provision of services and infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods – advancing economic and social development to benefit today's and future generations – in a manner that is safe, affordable, accessible, efficient, and resilient, while minimising carbon and other emissions and environmental impact.i



Snapshot. Africa


Market Trends

Business Models and Financing


Market Trends

Business Models and Financing


Mini-grid Models for Productive Uses

Energy as a Service

Consumer Protection


Business Models

Investment and Financing