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SDG7: Access to Electricity and Renewable Energy Output

While there has been substantial progress, across the Commonwealth there remain substantial populations with limited access to electricity and further gains to promote renewable energy generation.

On average, the Commonwealth lags behind the world in access to electricity (~80% compared to ~88%) and the amount of energy generated by renewable sources (~20% compared to ~30%). African Commonwealth countries remain the most in need of improvement in access to electricity, with just over half of the population having access to electricity (53%). However, the African region generates over half (53%) of its energy from renewable sources, the highest region. Interestingly, Malawi has the lowest proportion of access to electricity at ~13% but approximately ~91% of this comes from renewable sources.

In comparison, in Europe, the highest performing region, 100% of the population have access to electricity. But Europe is the second worst performer for renewable energy generation estimated to be ~13%; with the UK the highest performer at ~25% renewable energy generation.

Source: World Bank (2018), UN E-Government Survey (2018)

Access to electricity for rural areas in Commonwealth countries is positively correlated with the respective country’s UN E-Government Development Index (EGDI). EGDI reflects how a country is using information technologies to promote access and inclusion of its people.