Under-investment threatens to delay clean energy for poor ‘by decades’

Investment in providing electricity and clean cooking to hundreds of millions of people is “orders of magnitude” below what is needed to meet a global goal for everyone on the planet to use modern, green energy by 2030, researchers said Thursday.

An estimated $41 billion is required each year to supply electric power to all homes worldwide, but in 2018 only roughly a third of that, $16 billion, was committed for this purpose in 20 key developing countries, an annual tracking report said.

Fossil fuels accounted for the largest share of electricity finance allocations for the first time in at least six years.

The trend was driven mainly by grid-connected coal and gas projects in Bangladesh, said researchers, calling for an end to backing for carbon-heavy power plants.

Finance for clean cooking to replace harmful energy sources such as kerosene and charcoal tripled to $131 million in 2018 – but is still just a fraction of the estimated annual $4.5 billion needed for universal access by 2030, they said.

Donor governments and development banks provided just under half of financing for electrification, with the rest coming from private investors. For cooking, public money accounted for 60%.

ET Energy World
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