About 733 million people worldwide still do not have access to electricity, while 670 million people will remain without electricity by 2030, this is more than 10 million projected last year.
According to the United Nations report, 2.4 billion people still cook with fuels detrimental to their health and the environment.
They attributed the surge to the COVID-19 pandemic, which slowed down the progress towards universal access to electricity and clean cooking fuels and technology, noting that fallout from the war in Ukraine could result in further setbacks.
It stressed that at the current rate of progress, 670 million people would remain without electricity by 2030, making it 10 million more than projected last year.
The findings are from the 2022 edition of ‘Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report’, which monitors global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG7) of ensuring affordable modern energy supply for everyone by 2030.
It said: “The world’s most vulnerable countries have been particularly affected. Nearly 90 million people in Asia and Africa, who previously gained access to electricity, can no longer afford to pay for their basic energy needs.
“The report said Africa remains the least electrified in the world, with 568 million people without access. Sub-Saharan
Africa’s share of the global population without electricity rose from 71 percent in 2018 to 77 percent in 2020, while most other regions saw declines.”
While commenting also, the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Francesco La Camera, said: “International public financing for renewable energy needs to accelerate, especially in the poorest, most vulnerable countries. We have failed to support those most in need.
“With only eight years left to achieve universal access to affordable and sustainable energy, we need radical actions to accelerate the increase of international public financial flows and distribute them in a more equitable manner, so that the 733 million people who are currently left behind can enjoy the benefits of clean energy access.”
From the report, COVID-19 impacts, such as lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, and diversion of fiscal resources to keep food and fuel prices affordable, have affected progress towards achieving SDG 7.