A significant increase in investment is especially needed in Sub-Saharan Africa countries where roughly half a billion people are living without power, most of them in hard-to-reach rural areas.
Decentralised renewable energy such as solar, offers a promising solution for these people, but precious little financing is going into services for them.
Despite 3 billion people worldwide lacking access to clean cooking, investments in clean fuels and technologies for cooking are even lower.
Estimated annual residential clean cooking investment needs are at least USD 4.4B a year.
Bangladesh and Kenya, in particular, are making gains in urban and rural areas with more integrated electrification strategies that include centralised electric grid infrastructure and decentralised solar services, which are already powering millions of rural households.
We need to be focused on the economic dividend that comes from speeding up energy access from better health and education outcomes and the new income derived from the business.
The good news is that if we work together, we can still achieve universal energy access. The innovation and examples of success at small and medium scale across the world help show a pathway.
Yet we’re risking this future if we don’t meet the global challenge of attracting exponentially more finance that is used with much more discipline and urgency. If we do that, we will see the results we all want so much.