IEEE
Image credit: 123rf

The Global Commission to End Energy Poverty has been launched by the Rockfeller Foundation to provide access to electricity to about 840 million people with no access to affordable and reliable energy.

The Commission will be spearheaded by the Rockfeller Foundation, Africa Development Bank and the US Department of Energy.

Of the world's 840 million energy-poor people (650 million in 2030 - World Bank), 90% live in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Commission comprises heads of development banks, utilities, off-grid companies, senior academics, industry leaders and investors.

Related stories
New deal to expand energy access in Africa
UN report predicts “Climate Apartheid” for the poor

The Global Commission to End Poverty will develop a roadmap to ensure access to electricity to the poor in a cost-effective manner.

For instance:

  • Will work with utilities, investors and off-grid firms to fast-track sustainable power solutions over the next decade
  • Will work with research firms to identify roadmaps in addressing the barriers to achieving universal electrification

President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr Rajiv J. Shah, said: "We cannot end poverty without ending energy poverty.

"Despite recent progress, the world is not on track to solve this problem by 2030. Now is the time to unleash the full potential of distributed energy by integrating the strengths of the grid and off-grid systems in order to enable large-scale public-private partnerships."  

Africa Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, added: "Close to 600 million people still don't have access to electricity in Africa, and the majority live in rural areas. Grid expansion alone will not be enough to electrify these populations, but with a combination of distributed energy solutions and smart-grid expansion, we can achieve universal, economically impactful electrification."

"Energy poverty is the end result of the failure of a complex system that spans physical infrastructure, advanced technologies, markets, policy, and regulation. Ending it requires finding generalizable solutions that make all parts of the electricity systems of low access countries reliable and affordable for everyone," said MIT Energy Initiative Deputy Director Robert Stoner.

For more information on the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty and its work, as well as a full list of commissioners, please visit endenergypoverty.org.