United NationsDepartment 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 countries (in watts per capita)

Progress and Info

Despite progress, there are still over 700 million people globally living in the dark and 2.4 billion cooking with harmful and polluting fuels. Although the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency has improved, progress is not fast enough to achieve SDG 7. The war in Ukraine is driving up global energy prices and increasing energy insecurity in Europe. To respond to the energy crisis, some European countries plan to speed up renewables transition and increase investments in renewables and energy efficiency, while some other countries plan a resurgence of coal, putting the green transition at risk.

Between 2010 and 2020, the world population with access to electricity reached 91%, up from 83%, with 1.3 billion people gaining access. This still leaves 733 million people in the dark--more than three quarters of them living in sub-Saharan Africa. In the 2018-2020 period, the annual access growth was 0.5 percentage points, which should accelerate to an annual average of 0.9 percentage points to achieve universal access by 2030, requiring significant efforts to reach the ones living in low-income and fragile and conflict-affected countries.

In 2020, 69% of the global population had access to clean cooking fuels and technologies. While more than half of those without access to clean cooking fuels live in Asia, 19 out of the 20 countries with the lowest percentage of people having access to clean cooking were LDCs in Africa.

The share of renewable sources in total final energy consumption amounted to 17.7% globally in 2019 - this is less than one percentage point higher than in 2015. The electricity sector records the largest share of renewables in total final energy consumption (26.2% in 2019) and drives most of the growth in renewable energy use, while the heat and transport sectors have seen limited progress.

The global primary energy intensity—defined as the ratio of global total energy supply per unit of GDP—improved from 5.6 megajoules per dollar (2017 PPP) in 2010 to 4.7 megajoules in 2019. Since 2015, global energy intensity has improved by 1.6% per year on average, which is still short of the 3.2% annual rate now needed to reach SDG 7.3.

International financial flows to developing countries in support of clean and renewable energy reached $10.9 billion in 2019, 23.6% lower than in 2018, showing a contraction even before the COVID-19 pandemic. A longer five-year moving average trend shows that average annual commitments decreased for the first time since 2008 by 5.5% from $17.5 billion in 2014-18 to $16.6 billion in 2015-19.

Installed renewable energy-generating capacity in developing countries reached a record 245.7 Watts per capita in 2020. Since 2015, renewable capacity per capita increased by 57.6%, but SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs lagged behind–it would take LDCs and LLDCs almost 40 years and SIDS almost 15 years to reach the same progress as the developing countries reached on average in 2020.


Source: Report of the Secretary-General, Progress towards Sustainable Development Goals-E/2022