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What is Energy Poverty?

"not having access to electricity because it is either
unavailable, unreliable or unaffordable."



  • More than 1.2 billion people (17% of the global population) have no access to electricity at all.
  • More than 2.7 billion people (38% of the global population) rely on wood, crop waste, kerosene, dung, and other biomass for lighting, cooking, and heating within their homes.


Impact on Health

  • Every year, an estimated 3.5 million people, mainly women and children, die from respiratory illness caused by harmful indoor air pollution from kerosene lamps and/or the burning of fossil fuels and biomass within the home. That's more than the annual deaths attributed to malaria and HIV/AIDS combined!
  • There is insufficient light for clinical services or emergency procedures and care after dark.
  • Clinics have no refrigeration for vaccines, blood, or medications which could save people from preventable and treatable diseases.
  • There is no power for equipment such as nebulizers, x-ray machines, or incubators.
  • Small health clinics cannot communicate with specialists or organize patient transportation or transfer.


Impact on Education

Energy poverty means limited working hours for students to study and complete assignments.

  • Many children in the developing world walk long distances to get to school from home, often leaving or returning in the dark.
  • If houses or dwelling places do not have a source of energy, students are unable to study at home in the evening.
  • They are often forced to seek other sources outside their houses, sometimes at gas stations or under street lamps, in order to have enough light to complete their schoolwork.


Financial Obstacles That Contribute to Energy Poverty

On those occasions when electricity is available, people still live in energy poverty because they would have to spend a disproportionate portion of their income to obtain it.

  • At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10.00/day.
  • Nearly half of the world lives on less than $2.50/day.


Will We Shine the Light?




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