While we enjoy the beautiful things electricity brings us, a vast area of the world does not have access to this essential commodity. 1 billion of people experience total darkness after nightfall especially in sub-Saharan Africa and some parts of Asia due to lack of access to electricity. This situation limits their productive time and restricts their economic growth.
Electricity improves lives in many ways as it enables better education, health care, water supply, essential communication, and being productive to generate more income. This means that lack of access to energy results in poverty and stops countries from progressing. Governments should make substantial efforts to improve access to electricity as it can provide better lives for their people and allows them to compete in the global economy.
Billions of dollars are needed to build power plants that would supply sufficient electricity to communities. An enormous amount of money that is difficult to find by low-income countries which mostly suffer from the lack of access to electricity. As a temporary solution to this problem, developing countries use solar panels and kerosene generators to partially deliver electricity to communities that has no access to energy.
Solar panels and kerosene generators are great help for the productivity of communities. They enable households to have lights at night, hospitals to accept patients 24 hours a day, schools to schedule classes at night to accommodate more students, and businesses to continue operating even after the sun sets. However, these sources of electricity are only for small scale uses. They are not enough to supply big factories and businesses, run technologically advanced hospitals, handle universities for advanced learning, and attract investors that would help countries to increase their economic growth.
Fortunately, the United Nations and World Bank Group are helping low-income countries to have sufficient energy supplies. They aim to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030 offering credible plans, policies, and regulations that would attract donors and investors including private sectors to fund the project.
There are 51 countries with more than 50% of their people who has no access to electricity. 41 of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa while others are in Asia. As of now Asia in on track to narrow the energy access gap by 2030 while sub-Saharan Africa continues to be a challenge as it is seen to increase its demand due to its growing population. This means that the benefits of having electricity may bypass another generation in sub-Saharan Africa.
The goal to achieve universal access to electricity has been done in Vietnam, Laos, and Indonesia which increases their electricity access from low to high in 20 years. The United Nations and World Bank Group are eager to achieve their goal as it would improve the lives of billions of people in the world.