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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all


Related Goals

Targets and Indicators



By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services


Proportion of population with access to electricity


Proportion of population with primary reliance on clean fuels and technology



By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix


Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption



By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency


Energy intensity measured in terms of primary energy and GDP



By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology


International financial flows to developing countries in support of clean energy research and development and renewable energy production, including in hybrid systems



By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support


Installed renewable energy-generating capacity in developing and developed countries (in watts per capita)

Progress and Info

Access to electricity and clean cooking fuels has improved in many parts of the world, but 675 million people are yet to be connected to the grids and 2.3 billion are still cooking with unsafe and polluting fuels. The war in Ukraine and global economic uncertainty continue to cause significant volatility in energy prices, leading some countries to raise investments in renewables and others to increase reliance on coal, putting the green transition at risk. If the current pace continues, about 660 million people will still lack access to electricity and close to 2 billion people will continue to rely on polluting fuels and technologies for cooking by 2030. To ensure access to energy for all by 2030, we must accelerate electrification, increase investments in renewable energy sources and invest in improving electricity grids.

• Target 7.1: The global population with access to electricity has increased from 87% in 2015 to 91% in 2021. The pace of electrification has rebounded between 2019 and 2021. However, the annual access growth of 0.6 percentage points in the recent period is lower than the 0.8 percentage points in 2015–19. As a result, 675 million people, majorly located in LDCs and sub-Saharan Africa, still lacked access in 2021.
• Target 7.1: In 2021, 71% of the global population had access to clean cooking fuels and technologies, up from 64% in 2015. In seven (all located in sub-Saharan Africa) of the 20 countries with the largest deficits, fewer than 10% of the population had access to clean fuels and technologies. The growing access deficit in sub-Saharan Africa, if not reversed, could dampen or undermine increasing trends in global access.
• Target 7.2: The share of renewable sources in total final energy consumption amounted to 19.1% globally in 2020, or 2.4 percentage points higher than in 2015. Part of this progression is due to lower final energy demand in 2020, as the pandemic disrupted social and economic activities worldwide. The electricity sector shows the largest share of renewables in total final energy consumption (28.2% in 2020) and has driven most of the growth in renewable energy use, while the heat and transport sectors have seen limited progress over the past decade.
• Target 7.3: The rate of improvement in primary energy intensity, which had already slowed in recent years, dropped to 0.6% in 2020. This makes it the worst year for energy intensity improvement since the global financial crisis. Annual improvement through 2030 must now average 3.4% to meet the target of SDG 7.3. This slowdown was influenced by a shift in the economic structure during Covid towards more energy-intensive industrial production, combined with only modest rates of technical efficiency improvements, in the context of low energy prices.
• Target 7.a: International public financial flows in support of clean energy in developing countries have a decreasing trend that started before the COVID-19 pandemic and continued through 2021. In 2021, they amounted to $10.8 billion— an 11% drop from 2020. This was 35% less than the 2010–19 decade-long average, and less than half the 2017 peak of $26.4 billion.
• Target 7.b: In 2021, there was a record-breaking installation of 268 Watts per capita of renewable capacity in developing countries, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 9.8%. However, even with this positive and accelerating growth, developing countries are not on track to meet SDG7 by 2030. Moreover, the positive global and regional trends hide the fact that the countries that are most in need of support are being left behind, even among developing countries.