The International Energy Association (IEA) has published a very nice special paper with the title Energy Poverty: How to Make Energy Access Universal. This report makes a substantial contribution to the work on energy poverty and provides the updated figures on electricity access and the use of fuels for cooking. The purpose of the report is to raise the issue of energy poverty to a higher level of international visibility. This is quite a welcome tact by an energy agency that for many years has specialized in addressing issues of modern energy.
After that I looked at the investment costs from the point of view of investments and kilowatt hour consumption. Now I know that this is not correct, as the investments may last way beyond 2030, so the costs might turn out to appear high. As it turns out they seem very high. This confirms my suspicion that the equipment will last longer than the 20 year time frame. With 700 billion dollars divided by 953 terawatt hours is US$ 0.735 per kilowatt hour. Just to check this, I divided up the investments in grid, minigrid, and offgrid. The figures are seem perplexing with costs of grid equal to US$ 0.68 per kWh, for minigrid it is 0.79, and for offgrid just US$ 0.367. Most offgrid solar home systems I know of today generally involve cost of about US$ 1.00 or more per kilowatt hour so those figures seem low. If I have these figures wrong, I am glad to correct them.
The numbers are dramatic and emphasize a good point. But it might be even more important to show how affordable and solvable the problem really is! I am sure I have raised some questions here.
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