SDG 7.2 - Renewable energy
While renewable energy has seen unprecedented growth over the last decade, its share of total final energy consumption remained steady - at around 17 percent of total final energy consumption - as global energy consumption grew at a similar rate. According to the 2021 Tracking SGD7 Report, renewables are most dynamic in the electricity sector, reaching around 25 percent in 2018, while progress in the heat and transport sectors have been much slower.
Populations without access to the central electricity grid can benefit from off-grid solar and other decentralized solutions, which can provide energy access at lower first costs. Developing countries with severe energy access gaps have started to embrace integrated approaches to electricity supply, combining improved centralized electricity grids with distributed renewable energy solutions. However, research from our Energizing Finance report shows that in the 20 countries with the largest electricity access deficits, only 1 percent of finance went to decentralized energy solutions. And, while financing for off-grid solutions has doubled, investment in coal-fired power plants has tripled.