Sustainable Development Goals

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 7
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Progress of goal 7

  • Energy is crucial for achieving almost all of the Sustainable Development Goals, from its role in the eradication of poverty through advancements in health, education, water supply and industrialization, to combating climate change.
  • The proportion of the global population with access to electricity has increased steadily, from 79 per cent in 2000 to 85 per cent in 2012. Still, 1.1 billion people are without this valuable service. Recent global progress in this area has been driven largely by Asia, where access is expanding at more than twice the pace of demographic growth. Of those gaining access to electricity worldwide since 2010, 80 per cent are urban dwellers.
  • The proportion of the world’s population with access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking increased from 51 per cent in 2000 to 58 per cent in 2014, although there has been limited progress since 2010. The absolute number of people relying on polluting fuels and technologies for cooking, such as solid fuels and kerosene, however, has actually increased, reaching an estimated three billion people. Limited progress since 2010 falls substantially short of global population growth and is almost exclusively confined to urban areas.
  • The share of renewable energy (derived from hydropower, solid and liquid biofuels, wind, the sun, biogas, geothermal and marine sources, and waste) in the world’s total final energy consumption has increased slowly, from 17.4 per cent in 2000 to 18.1 per cent in 2012. More telling is the fact that modern renewable energy consumption, which excludes solid biofuels used for traditional purposes, grew rapidly, at a rate of 4 per cent a year between 2010 and 2012, and accounted for 60 per cent of all new power-generating capacity in 2014. In absolute terms, about 72 per cent of the increase in energy consumption from modern renewable sources between 2010 and 2012 came from developing regions, mostly from Eastern Asia. The technologies making the largest contribution have been hydropower, wind and solar energy; together they account for 73 per cent of the total increase in modern renewable energy between 2010 and 2012.
  • Energy intensity, calculated by dividing total primary energy supply by GDP, reveals how much energy is used to produce one unit of economic output. Globally, energy intensity decreased by 1.7 per cent per year from 2010 to 2012. This represents a considerable improvement over the period from 1990 to 2010, when it decreased by 1.2 per cent a year. As a result, global energy intensity, which stood at 6.7 (millijoules (mJ) per 2011 United States dollar ppp) in 2000 fell to 5.7 by 2012. The proportion of the world’s energy use covered by mandatory energy efficiency regulation, which has almost doubled over the past decade, from 14 per cent in 2005 to 27 per cent in 2014, was a factor. Still, current progress is only about two thirds of the pace needed to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. Among end-use sectors, industry was the largest contributor to reduced energy intensity, followed closely by transportation. About 68 per cent of the savings in energy intensity between 2010 and 2012 came from developing regions, with Eastern Asia as the largest contributor.

 

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM