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Challenges In Achieving Global Electricity Access

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By Author: Isabella Whitmore
Total Articles: 54
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Notable progress has been made on electricity access in recent years which can be observed mostly in Asian countries such as Myanmar, Laos, and Indonesia. From 2000 to 2020 energy access data, Myanmar have improved from 5% to 71% electricity access, Laos has increased from 20% to 94%, and Indonesia from 53% to 94%.

Although there are undeniably significant improvements over the past decades, the goal of achieving global electricity access by 2030 remains a challenge.
Electrification is expensive like all major infrastructure. It needs billions of dollars to execute especially when using the traditional power grids. The International Energy Agency are opting to use mini-grids as they find them the best and most cost-efficient solution to distribute electricity to low-income countries and rural areas.

However, households in low-income countries and rural areas mostly have low incomes which means they may be unable to afford the cost of electricity. Governments should have credible plans and create economies of scale to lower the cost of electricity access which will increase electricity demands and attract investors to fund the project.

Another challenge in achieving universal electricity access is the unstable foreign currencies fluctuations which creates additional risk for investors. Aside from the financial challenges, time can also be an issue. As the matter of fact, it took approximately 20 years for Brazil, China, and Thailand to improve from 80% to 100% electricity access.    

People who lack access to electricity are deprived of the good things that most of us have. They cannot enjoy the benefit of using technology: the convenient in using electric equipment, experiencing better education using computers, getting advanced health care with efficient and safe operating rooms, working at a fast pace without using too much physical efforts, and extending their productive hours through the darker hours.

No electricity access ties people to poverty.  It limits  their chance to have equal participation in the global economy. Achieving global energy access would make us the first generation to end poverty that is why the International Energy Agency, United Nations, And World Bank Group are very eager to help governments in achieving this goal.

940 million people still has no access to electricity, experiencing total darkness after the sun sets and have to live as we did centuries ago. Achieving global electricity access by 2030 is a huge challenge. We need to use old and new energy technology as well as big and small scale power supplies together taking high investment risks to reach this universal goal.

Isabella Whitmore is an aspiring researcher and a writer about health, environment, households, and appliances. You can find some of her work at https://electrickettlesplus.com, an appliance website that offers energy saver electric kettles.

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