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 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 have improved, progress is not fast enough to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 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 the transition to renewables and increase investments in renewables and energy efficiency, while some other countries plan to bring about a resurgence of coal, putting the green transition at risk.

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

In 2020, 69 per cent 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 least developed countries in Africa.

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

Global primary energy intensity—defined as global total energy supply per unit of GDP, improved from 5.6 megajoules per dollar (2017 purchasing power parity) in 2010 to 4.7 megajoules in 2019. Since 2015, global energy intensity has improved by 1.6 per cent per year on average, which is still short of the 3.2 per cent annual rate now needed to reach Sustainable Development Goal 7.3.

International financial flows to developing countries in support of clean and renewable energy reached $10.9 billion in 2019, 23.6 per cent lower than that in 2018 and representing a contraction even before the onset of 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 per cent 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 has increased by 57.6 per cent, but small island developing States, least developed countries and landlocked developing countries have lagged behind. It would take least developed countries and landlocked developing countries almost 40 years and small island developing States almost 15 years to reach the same level of progress reached by the developing countries on average in 2020.


Source: Progress Towards Sustainable Development Goals- Report of the Secretary-General 

For more information, please, check: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2022/