Roughly one billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity, a staggering number. About 2.7 billion people do not have access to a clean cooking facility. These deficiencies lead to millions of preventable deaths every year.
Allowing people in developing countries to have access to electricity would improve health, education, and economic conditions. And while providing power to so many people sounds like a large undertaking, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that $48 billion could be enough to end energy poverty, only 3% of the worldwide investment IEA believes is needed in the energy sector.
The United Nations fully supports ending energy poverty, with secretary-general Ban Ki-moon announcing that universal access to electricity is needed by 2030. That fits with the 20 year timeline the IEA believes would be enough time to accomplish that goal.
OpenEI understands the need to expand electricity to developing nations, and also to do it in a responsible, low-emitting way. You can find information at OpenEI about these initiatives at the Low Emission Development Stategies gateway, the International Clean Energy Analysis gateway, and coming soon there will be a gateway devoted to Energy Poverty. Stay tuned for its release.