This report examines the challenge of bringing power to over one billion people who live without electricity, mostly in remote, rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Under a business-as-usual scenario, almost 700 million people will still be without access to electricity in 2030, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

The effectiveness of national energy policy will be decisive for achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Solar lamps and solar home systems are increasingly seen as a route to electrification in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Much of the population that would be served by such systems is vulnerable to climate variability and extremes.

Although Africa has enormous energy resources, more than half of the continent’s population do not have any access to electricity and generation is often unable to meet the demand of those who do. Growth and poverty reduction will be constrained if this deficit continues.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will set the global development agenda for the next 15 years, with SDG targets acting as a benchmark of progress for rich and poor countries alike.

This policy guide explores how access to energy can assist with policies for the chronically poor. Over the past two years, the challenge of providing people living in poverty with access to modern energy has been prominent in policy debates.