1 Billion Live Without Electric Light

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on September 6, 2013

Nearly one-fifth of the globe can’t turn on the lights: “While some 1.7 billion people have acquired access to electricity globally since 1990, the rate of electrification has been slower than the rate of population growth in the most energy-poor countries. Just to get all of sub-Saharan Africa–a region that generates about as much electricity as Spain–up to levels that comparatively well-off South Africa enjoys would require 330 gigawatts of new capacity. (Power Africa should account for about 10 gigawatts.) The World Bank estimates that it would take $1 trillion a year in global investment to eliminate energy poverty by the year 2030–more than twice what is being spent now. And even that level of investment would guarantee the poorest of the poor only enough electricity to run a floor fan, a mobile phone and two compact fluorescent lights for five hours a day.”

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