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Research Report / Universal Access to Energy


Public regulation to facilitate implementation of access-to-energy projects

Author(s): ALESSI Pia, RANCI Pippo

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Currently, nearly 1.2 billion people, 17% of the world’s population, have no access to electricity and around 2.7 billion people, 38% of people on earth, are without clean cooking facilities.

In accordance with the International Energy Agency, we define lack of access to electricity and to clean cooking facilities as a lack of access to “modern energy”, the term “modern” refers to the simultaneous presence of two aspects: maximum environmental sustainability and minimum possibility of health damage. Over 95% of the people without access to modern energy are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia and 84% of them live in rural areas. The distribution of this energy poverty largely coincides with the world’s distribution of the overall extreme poverty.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which includes a set of 17 sustainable development goals (UN SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. Goal number 7 calls for the global community to “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”, a significant challenge that requires a great collective commitment from governments, the energy industry, NGOs and funding organizations. Within the framework of the newly adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals, the G20 Energy Access Action Plan and COP21 on Climate Change, the Florence School of Regulation (FSR) and the World Access to Modern Energy (WAME) Association have agreed to form a partnership to contribute to the process of ensuring affordable, reliable, and modern energy for all, combining the FSR’s long expertise in energy regulation and in teaching with WAME’s institutional focus on world access to modern energy.