Ending energy poverty: reframing the poverty discourse with Dr Rajiv J. Shah

08 October 2019

We cannot end poverty without ending energy poverty. Ever since the world’s first power plants whirred to life in 1882, we have seen how electricity is the lynchpin for development in all of its forms.

Manufacturing and industrial productivity, agriculture and food security, nutrition, hygiene, water, public health, education, even community engagement, in other words, daily life in a modern economy, demand access to reliable energy.

And yet despite significant progress over nearly 140 years, more than 800 million people around the world live without access to electricity, and hundreds of millions more struggle with unreliable or unaffordable service. Families are deprived of the means to labour productively and their quality of life and status in extreme poverty goes unchanged.

We need urgently to fast-track sustainable power solutions, investments, and partnerships across the globe to catalyze an energy transformation and accelerate sustainable, reliable and modern electrification for economic development.