SEforALL Analysis of SDG7 Progress - 2021

Data analysis

Utilizing the latest data from the Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report 2021, SEforALL has conducted a deep-dive analysis to provide a snapshot of the world’s current situation across the four targets of SDG7: electricity access (7.1.1), clean cooking access (7.1.2), renewable energy (7.2) and energy efficiency (7.3). This analysis builds on the Tracking SDG7 Report with an additional perspective on regions and high-impact countries. The detailed analysis is available for download here.

Overall progress

We are lagging behind in providing access to electricity and clean cooking, and much more needs to be done to increase efficiency and renewable energy deployment.

SDG7 targets

1 Baseline for Target 7.3: Double Rate of Energy Efficiency Improvement is the value for the years 2006-2010    
2 Yearly rate of energy efficiency improvement required to meet 2030 target
3 Yearly rate of energy efficiency improvement assumed in scenario 2030 
 

Progress has been made towards universal electricity access mainly driven by significant gains in India and Bangladesh (7.1.1). 

Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking has made modest progress but is still far from on track (7.1.2). 

While the overall share of renewable energy has been increasing, more efforts are needed to increase modern renewables in Asia and Africa, including industry and transport sector (7.2).

Achieving the energy efficiency goal requires an energy intensity improvement rate of at least 3 percent per year from now through to 2030 (7.3).

Access to electricity

Significant progress has been made since 2010 with the number of unelectrified people reducing from 1.15 billion to 759 million in 2019.

However, 99 percent of this improvement has been driven by significant gains in Asia, particularly in India and Bangladesh. While there have been improvements in the electrification rate in Africa from 49 percent to 58 percent, this hasn’t been enough to match the population growth, resulting in an increased number of Africans lacking access to electricity.

Looking forward, based on current trends, we are not on track to achieve SDG 7.1.1 by 2030.

Projections show that we are not on track to achieve universal electricity access by 2030, with between 660 and 780 million people expected to remain unelectrified based on current trends.

To address this, in the next few years, organizations should prioritize working with countries that have large unelectrified populations and have not made significant progress to reduce them over the past few years such as Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and Ethiopia. Even with smaller numbers of unelectrified populations, a strong focus should also be on those countries with slower progress and low electrification rates to achieve universal access.  

There are currently 759 million people without access to electricity, with 78 percent of them in Africa and 20 percent in Asia.

These 23 countries make up 80 percent of the electrification challenge, with 18 of them in Africa and the remaining 5 in Asia.

Total number of unelectrified people has declined from 1.15 billion in 2010 to ~759 million in 2019; however, most of this decline is from Asia while Africa saw an increase

Population without electricity access, millions, 2019

Almost every Asian country has made progress since 2010

Reduction in unelectrified population between 2010 and 2019, millions

USD 43.6 billion committed in 2018 for access to electricity in 20 high-impact countries

According to Energizing Finance: Understanding the Landscape 2020, only one-third of finance commitments, or USD 16.1 billion, were for residential access. Six Sub-Saharan African countries with the highest access deficits received low levels of finance commitments, seven countries received less than USD 100 million towards electricity access.

Access to clean cooking

There are currently 2.6 billion people without access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking with 61 percent of them in Asia and 36 percent in Africa

80 percent of the people without access live in just 20 countries, with 10 of them in Asia and the remaining 10 in Africa.

The situation is dire in the African countries as only 3 of the 10 countries (Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana) that are part of the top 80 percent have access rates over 10 percent.

The Asian countries in the top 20 mostly have higher access rates than their African counterparts; however, there is still significant room for improvement.

Looking back, we see that the number of people without access has been stagnant with only a slight improvement from 3.0 billion in 2010 to 2.6 billion in 2019.

Moderate improvements have been made in Asia with the number without access declining from 2.1 billion to 1.5 billion people. However, the number of people without access in Africa has increased from ~760 million to ~917 million people.

Looking forward, based on current trends, we are not on track to achieve SDG 7.1.2 by 2030.

Projections show that we are not on track to achieve universal access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking by 2030 with between 2.3 and 2.6 billion people expected to remain without access based on current trends.

To address this, organizations should prioritize working with countries that have large populations without access and have not made significant progress to reduce them over the past few years such as India, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ethiopia.

Much stronger public finance is needed, along with financial/fiscal incentives and strong political will to remove barriers and create the enabling environment for faster and larger-scale clean cooking roll-outs.

There are ~2.6 billion people in the world without access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking.

20 countries make up 80 percent of the access to clean cooking challenge

Population without access to clean cooking, millions, 2019

Most Asian and African countries have suffered declines between 2010 and 2019

Reduction in population without access to clean cooking between 2010 and 2019, millions

Five Asian countries significantly improved their clean cooking access rates (>15p.p.) between 2010 and 2019; Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Four countries still have significant populations (>100 million) without access to clean cooking: China, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

None of the African high-impact countries significantly improved their clean cooking access rate (>15p.p.) between 2010 and 2019. One country recorded negative access rate change: Uganda. Two others still have significant populations (>100 million) without access to clean cooking: Nigeria and Ethiopia.
 

Share of renewables

The current share of renewables, including the use of traditional biomass, in total energy consumption, is 17.1 percent, while the current share of modern renewables in total energy consumption is only 10.7 percent.

Africa has the highest share of renewables in its total final energy consumption (TFEC) overall at 53.6 percent, but this only includes 7.8 percent of modern renewables. 

North America and Europe has the least share of renewables in its TFEC at 12.7 percent but all are coming from modern renewables.

Looking back, we see that the share of modern renewables in the energy mix has only increased modestly from 8.7 percent in 2010 to 10.7 percent in 2018.

The share of all renewables, including traditional biomass, increased from 16.4 percent in 2010 to just 17.1 percent in 2017.

Looking forward, based on current trends, more needs be done to achieving a substantial increase in the share of renewables, in particular modern renewables, in the energy mix by 2030.

Projections show that the share of renewables in the energy mix is increasing to between 18 percent and 22 percent by 2030.

To ensure we get on track, we should increase both renewable electricity consumption and direct renewable usage in transport, industry and building sectors, while the unelectrified populations are being connected with clean and modern renewable energy.

Modern renewables need to be expanded much more quickly to reach the 7.2 target and reduce the negative impacts of using traditional biomass. 

Today, the share of renewables in the energy consumption is 17.1%, 10.7% of which is modern renewables

NOTE: We use solid biofuels instead of traditional uses of biomass. Although “traditional uses of biomass” refers to the residential consumption of primary solid biofuels and charcoal in non-OECD countries, the current dataset does not distinguish such usage. Hence we only distinguish solid biofuel share in final energy consumption.  

Only 16 percent of energy consumption of the top 20 energy consuming countries are from renewables

Countries with the highest energy consumption and their share of renewables, 2018

Rate of improvement in energy efficiency

It currently takes 4.8 MJ (megajoules) of energy to generate USD 1 of economic activity.

Africa is the least efficient region with 5.6 MJ/USD GDP, while Latin America & the Caribbean is the most efficient region with 3.4 MJ/USD GDP.

Energy intensity varies in the different economic segments with industry being the most energy intensive at ~4.5 x the least energy consuming segment (services).

12 of the top 20 energy consuming countries are more efficient than the world average with the United Kingdom, Italy and Turkey leading the way.

Looking back, we see that energy intensity has decreased from 5.6 MJ/$ GDP in 2010 to 4.8 MJ/$ GDP in 2018, corresponding to an average rate of improvement of 2.0 percent.

Looking forward, based on the current data, we will need an energy intensity improvement rate of at least 3 percent per year through 2030 to achieve SDG 7.3.

Data show a slowdown in the rate of improvement of energy intensity since 2015, thus reaching SDG 7.3 will require a higher improvement rate than the original rate of 2.6 percent. 

To ensure we get on track, we will need to explore ways for industry and transport to increase its energy efficiency and consumers will need to be incentivized to be more energy efficient.

Energy intensity improvement rate of at least 3 percent annually will be needed to achieve SDG 7.3

Countries with the highest energy consumption and energy intensity

These 20 countries represent approximately 75 percent of total energy consumption in the world.
 

For electricity, the high-impact countries (HICs) are:
Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Congo (DR), Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen

For clean cooking, the high-impact countries (HICs) are:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Congo (DR), Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vietnam

SEforALL 2020. Energizing Finance: Understanding the Landscape