Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

A Mongolian family uses solar energy to power their home. UN photo

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Between 1990 and 2010, the number of people with access to electricity has increased by 1.7 billion, and as the global population continues to rise so will the demand for cheap energy. A global economy reliant on fossil fuels and the increase of greenhouse gas emissions is creating drastic changes to our climate system. This is having a visible impact on every continent.

However, there has been a new drive to encourage alternative energy sources, and in 2011 renewable energy accounted for more than 20 percent of global power generated. Still one in five people lack access to electricity, and as the demand continues to rise there needs to be a substantial increase in the production of renewable energy across the world.

Ensuring universal access to affordable electricity by 2030 means investing in clean energy sources such as solar, wind and thermal. Adopting cost-effective standards for a wider range of technologies could also reduce the global electricity consumption by buildings and industry by 14 percent. This means avoiding roughly 1,300 mid-size power plants. Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide clean energy sources in all developing countries is a crucial goal that can both encourage growth and help the environment.

Sustainable energy is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 7.

Our work

Solar PV
UNDP in Lesotho
Solar panels light rural districts of Lesotho

Only 28% of the 2 million-strong population of Lesotho has access to electricity, and this goes down to 5% in rural areas which are often only accessible by foot or horseback.more 

Children
UNDP in India
India brings sun into the kitchen

In 2013, the 109-year-old charitable institution invested in a solar heating system that could fuel its kitchens, replacing fossil fuel with a clean, alternative source of energy captured from the sun.more 

Man cooking
UNDP in Burundi
Sustainable energy, climate change and disasters

In 2007, a lack of rainfall resulted in low water levels in rivers and lakes in Albania, severely hampering hydropower generation and resulting in frequent power outages across the country. more 

Video
UNDP in Lebanon
Providing warmth to host communities in Lebanon

Enaam Hassan, a mother of twenty, lives in the Bekaa region of Lebanon, where cooler months are characterized by a steep drop in temperatures, with heavy snow falls further exacerbating difficult living conditions.more 

Learn more: Sustainable energy

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