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World Energy Outlook

Energy access projections to 2030

In the central scenario of the World Energy Outlook 2013 (the New Policies Scenario), we project that close to 1 billion people will still be without access to electricity and 2.5 billion people will lack access to clean cooking facilities in 2030 (Table 1).

Table 1: Number of people without access to electricity by region in the New Policies Scenario (million)

‌‌Table 1: Number of people without access to electricity by region in the New Policies Scenario (million)

For electricity, around 1.7 billion people are expected to gain access over the period to 2030 but, in many cases, these gains are offset by population growth. Developing Asia sees the number of people without access to electricity almost halve between 2011 and 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where the number of people without access to electricity deteriorates over the Outlook period, resulting in sub-Saharan Africa’s share of the global total increasing from less than half in 2011 to two-thirds in 2030. For cooking, developing Asia sees a significant improvement (led by China), but half of the Indian population will still be without clean cooking facilities in 2030. In sub-Saharan Africa the picture worsens by about a quarter by 2030.

Figure1: Shares of population with access to electricity and clean cooking facilities by region in the New Policies Scenario

Figure1: Shares of population with access to electricity and clean cooking facilities by region in the New Policies Scenario

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Energy for all will not cost the earth

In our Energy for All Case, we examine the trajectory that would be required to achieve the goal of universal access to electricity and clean cooking facilities by 2030.

Latest analysis from WEO-2012 shows that total investment of nearly $1 trillion ($979 billion) would be required to achieve universal energy access by 2030, an average of $49 billion per year (from 2011 to 2030). This estimate includes both the $301 billion of investment we project to be forthcoming in the New Policies Scenario and the additional $678 billion that we estimate is required in the Energy for All Case. The additional investment required is derived from our analysis that seeks to match the most likely technical solutions within each region, given resource availability and government policies and measures. This requirement is small when compared to global energy-related infrastructure investment, equivalent to around 3% of the total.

We find that around an additional $602 billion in investment is required to provide universal access to electricity by 2030, an average of $30 billion per year. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 64% of the additional investment required, while developing Asia accounts for 36% (Figure 2). The additional investment provides electricity connections for almost 50 million people per year on average. In our Energy for All Case, additional investment of just under $76 billion is required in order to achieve universal access to clean cooking facilities by 2030, an average of $3.8 billion per year. This investment provides clean cooking facilities to an additional 135 million people per year on average, through a combination of advanced biomass cookstoves, LPG stoves and biogas systems.

Figure 2: Average annual investment in modern energy access in selected regions, 2011-2030

Figure 2: Average annual investment in modern energy access in selected regions, 2011-2030

All sources and forms of investment have their part to play, reflecting the varying risks and returns of particular solutions. All need to grow: the private sector needing to grow the most. For more on financing and investment for modern energy access, see the WEO-2011 special excerpt “Energy for All: Financing Access for the Poor”.