Sustainable Development Goal no 7: “Affordable and Clean Energy” targets universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy by 2030 and a substantial increase in the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Modern energy unlocks significant economic and social potential by:
- improving food production as people are able to improve the output of their land (grinding, irrigation, processing) and access to markets.
- improving income as people are released from unproductive activities such as the collection of wood and water, are able to generate income in the evenings, and/or establish local farms and businesses.
- improving education (and adult literacy) as children can study at night and schools have power.
- improving health as households can cook indoors without polluting the air or have access to clean water; and as rural hospitals and maternity facilities have reliable power and can stock vaccines. (For example, The World Health Organization estimates that the pollution caused by using indoor biomass cook stoves is responsible for 1.6m deaths per year – mostly children and mothers.)
- improving quality of life more generally as households can power lights, radios, and small appliances.