The UN initiative estimates it will take USD 45B of investments a year to bring power to every home worldwide, one of the internationally-agreed sustainable development goals. More than a billion people have no electricity supply, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.
Yet in 2013 and 2014, the annual total flowing from governments, multilateral development banks and the private sector to the 20 priority countries averaged USD 19.4B.
Nearly all the funds tracked went to boost grid electricity supplies, with less than 1% going into off-grid options like solar home systems.
Funding has to be spent where the energy access gap is and has to be spent in ways that most quickly facilitate the closing of that gap.
The difficulty is that countries with the biggest unserved populations may also be seen as risky places to invest, suffering from policy uncertainty or weak governance.