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The Global Commission to End Energy Poverty has been launched by the Rockefeller Foundation to provide access to electricity to about 840 million people with no access to affordable and reliable energy.

The Commission will be spearheaded by the Rockefeller Foundation, Africa Development Bank and the US Department of Energy.

Of the world's 840 million energy-poor people (650 million in 2030 - World Bank), 90% live in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Commission comprises heads of development banks, utilities, off-grid companies, senior academics, industry leaders and investors.

The Global Commission to End Poverty will develop a roadmap to ensure access to electricity to the poor in a cost-effective manner.

The Commission’s plans are:

  • To work with utilities, investors and off-grid firms to fast-track sustainable power solutions over the next decade
  • To work with research firms to identify roadmaps in addressing the barriers to achieving universal electrification

Read more about off-grid solutions

President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr Rajiv J. Shah, said: "We cannot end poverty without ending energy poverty.

"Despite recent progress, the world is not on track to solve this problem by 2030. Now is the time to unleash the full potential of distributed energy by integrating the strengths of the grid and off-grid systems in order to enable large-scale public-private partnerships."  

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, added: "Close to 600 million people still don't have access to electricity in Africa, and the majority live in rural areas.

"Grid expansion alone will not be enough to electrify these populations, but with a combination of distributed energy solutions and smart-grid expansion, we can achieve universal, economically impactful electrification."

Robert Stoner, MIT Energy Initiative Deputy Director Robert Stoner noted that energy poverty is the end result of the failure of a complex system that spans physical infrastructure, advanced technologies, markets, policy, and regulation. 

“Ending it requires finding generalisable solutions that make all parts of the electricity systems of low access countries reliable and affordable for everyone,” said Stoner.

For more information on the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty and its work, as well as a full list of commissioners, please visit endenergypoverty.org.