What is Energy Poverty?
Generally speaking, Energy Poverty is referring to the situation of large numbers of people in developing countries whose well-being is negatively affected by very low consumption of energy, use of dirty or polluting fuels, and excessive time spent collecting fuel to meet basic needs.
According to International Energy Agency, Energy poverty is a lack of access to modern energy services. These services are defined as household access to electricity and clean cooking facilities (e.g. fuels and stoves that do not cause air pollution in houses).
Modern energy services are crucial to human well-being and to a country’s economic development; and yet globally over 1.3 billion people are without access to electricity and 2.6 billion people are without clean cooking facilities. More than 95% of these people are either in sub-Saharan African or developing Asia and 84% are in rural areas.
The lack of access to modern energy services is a serious hindrance to economic and social development, and must be overcome if the UN Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved.