PHOTO: The Huffington Post
• Country, others lag behind in clean energy race
• ‘Money gap leaves poorer nations in darkness’
Nigeria is second to India on the list of countries with the highest electricity access deficit with 75 million people compared to India’s 263 million persons.
According to a new World Bank report, other countries on the list of nations with highest electricity access deficit are Ethiopia with 67 million; Bangladesh 62 million; Congo Democratic Republic with 55 million; Tanzania with 40 million; Kenya with 33 million; Uganda with 30 million; Sudan with 25 million; and Myanmar with 25 million people.
According to the report, an energy scorecard released on Monday, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sudan alone have 116 million people without adequate electricity.
The authors noted that energy access, efficiency and renewables are on the rise in many developing nations, but in places like sub-Saharan Africa, the energy situation is still grim and hundreds of millions remain unconnected.
The report found that 80 per cent of the 111 countries studied have policies for more sustainable energy — meaning energy efficiency, access to energy and use of renewables — with 45 countries at advanced stages of policy-making.
According to the report, access is, in part, a financial issue in these countries. In many sub-Saharan Africa countries, people pay more than $500 to connect to the grid, while in another developing country, Bangladesh, the cost is as little as $22.
Senior Director and Head of Energy and Extractives at the World Bank, Riccardo Puliti, said: “Africa has long been the least electrified, and power there cannot keep up with population growth. Those disparities won’t disappear without policies encouraging both private and public investment.”
According to the report, for much of the world, however, renewables are growing fast: 93 per cent of countries have renewable energy targets, and more than three-quarters have supporting legislation.
This growth, however, needs more focus. Just 39 per cent of countries have studied how to integrate renewables such as solar and wind power into their current electrical grids, the authors found.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sustainable Energy for All, a sustainable energy initiative launched by the United Nations in 2011, Rachel Kyte, said: “The world is in a race to secure a clean energy transition. The underlying message is that we must go further and faster.”
Besides, Energy economics global lead for the World Bank Group, Vivien Foster, said: “African countries on the whole scored very poorly, with as many as 40 per cent barely beginning policy measures to accelerate access to energy. African countries on the whole scored very poorly.”