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Humankind is in a perpetual state of development. The modern world has improved living conditions over the past two centuries and access to electricity has become an obvious resource of living for the most part of the world. However, citizens of some developing countries around the globe are still living without this basic necessity. The lack of electricity is the main factor that prevents the participation of these countries in the modern global economy. Some argue that access to energy should be a basic human right– a reasonable claim given the fact that 650 million people are expected to be left without access to electricity in 2030.

What percentage of the world’s population does not have access to electricity?

Surprisingly, 11% of the world do not have access to electricity (around 840 million people), according to The Energy Progress Report. Notable countries with a lack of access to electricity include Chad (11%), Congo (19%), Niger (20%), Liberia (21%), Burkina Faso (25%), Mozambique (27%), Somalia (33%), Tanzania (33%), Guinea (35%), Zimbabwe (40%), Angola (42%), Mali (43%), North Korea (44%), Ethiopia (44%), Nigeria (54%), Sudan (56%). As you can see, most of the population with no access to electricity is in sub-Saharan Africa where 573 million people still live without an energy source.

Source: Ourworldindata.org


While these figures remain a global concern and another indication for global economic inequality, notable progress has been made on energy access in recent years. The global population with a lack of access to electricity has dropped to 840 million from 1.2 billion in 2010. Moreover, in the past two decades, the number of people with access to electricity has been steadily growing. While in 1990, around 71% of the world’s population had access to power; this has increased to 89% in 2019. Yet, it’s not enough – unless extreme measures are taken, it might take another century until electricity reaches every corner of the globe. There are innovative projects such as Tesla’s low-cost renewable energy battery, and other solutions to bring sustainable electricity to Africa that hopefully will put an end to the unreasonable phenomenon of lack of power in some regions on earth.

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