SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

SDG 7

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential. Working towards this goal is especially important as it interlinks with other Sustainable Development Goals. Focusing on universal access to energy, increased energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energy through new economic and job opportunities is crucial to creating more sustainable and inclusive communities and resilience to environmental issues like climate change.

At the current time, there are approximately 3 billion people who lack access to clean-cooking solutions and are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution. Additionally, slightly less than 1 billion people are functioning without electricity and 50% of them are found in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. Fortunately, progress has been made in the past decade regarding the use of renewable electricity from water, solar and wind power and the ratio of energy used per unit of GDP is also declining.

However, the challenge is far from being solved and there needs to be more access to clean fuel and technology and more progress needs to be made regarding integrating renewable energy into end-use applications in buildings, transport and industry. Public and private investments in energy also need to be increased and there needs to be more focus on regulatory frameworks and innovative business models to transform the world’s energy systems.

Facts and Figures

  •     13% of the global population still lacks access to modern electricity.
  •     3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating
  •     Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
  •     Indoor air pollution from using combustible fuels for household energy caused 4.3 million deaths in 2012, with women and girls accounting for 6 out of every 10 of these.
  •     The share of renewable energy in final energy consumption has reached 17.5% in 2015.

Targets

  •     By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  •     By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  •     By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
  •     By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
  •     By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support

Space-based Technologies for SDG 7

Still one in five people lack access to electricity and, as demand continues to rise, production of renewable energy needs to increase substantially. Satellite technology can help find the best locations for renewable energy infrastructure, outline the most fuel-efficient flight paths, support timing and synchronisation of energy fields and forecast production of wind and solar energy. Jointly with the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency, UNOOSA produced a study on how global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and Earth observation (EO) support the SDGs, including clean energy.