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
Investments in energy efficiency as a percentage of GDP and the amount of foreign direct investment in financial transfer for infrastructure and technology to sustainable development services
Progress and Info
Despite significant progress over the last decade on improving access to electricity, increasing the use of renewable energy in the electricity sectors, and improving energy efficiency, the world is still short of achieving affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Clean and sustainable energy should be at the heart of the COVID-19 response and fight against climate change.
The global electricity access rate improved from 83% in 2010 to 90% in 2019 with an average annual electrification of 0.876 percentage points. The global access deficit decreased from 1.22 billion in 2010 to 759 million in 2019. Despite the great efforts, the world may still have as many as 660 million people without access in 2030. Additionally, the COVID-19 crisis will impede progress in future electrification.
In 2019, 66% of the global population had access to clean cooking fuels and technologies. For the period 2010-2019 much of the increase in access to clean fuels and technologies was dominated by the most populous low- and middle-income countries, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. People relying on polluting fuels and technologies are exposed to high levels of household air pollution, with serious consequences for their cardiovascular and respiratory system, increasing their vulnerability to diseases including COVID-19.
The renewable energy share of total final energy consumption gradually increased from 16.4% in 2010 to 17.1% in 2018. Nonetheless, the share of modern renewable sources in total final energy consumption increased by only 2.5 percentage points in a decade, remaining below 11% in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a mixed impact on renewable energy development across end-use sectors: global electricity demand declined 2% in 2020 compared to 2019, but renewables use for power generation increased by almost 7% year-on-year.
Global primary energy intensity improved from 5.6 megajoules per dollar GDP in 2010 to 4.8 in 2018, an average annual rate of improvement of 2%. While early estimates for 2019 indicate an improvement rate of 2%, the outlook for 2020 suggests a low level of improvement at only 0.8% because of the COVID-19 crisis. Annual improvement until 2030 will now need to average 3% to meet the target set in SDG 7.3.
International financial flows to developing countries in support of clean and renewable energy reached $14 billion in 2018, 35% lower than in 2017, but still 32% higher than in 2010. Hydropower projects received 27% of 2018 flows, while solar projects received 26%, geothermal 8%, wind 5%, and multiple/other renewables 34%.
Developing countries had 219 Watts per capita of renewable energy capacity at the end of 2019. This was an increase of 7% over the year, although the expansion was slightly less than in 2018 (when per capita capacity expanded by 8.8%). Per capita hydropower capacity remained stable in 2019, as total capacity increased in line with population growth during the year (roughly 0.4%). Solar and wind capacity both expanded much faster than population growth, leading to increases in per capita capacity of 22.2% and 11.3% respectively.
Source: Advance unedited copy of 2021 report of the Secretary-General on Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals