If you are like most Americans, you probably don’t know what the sustainable development goal 7 (SDG7) is. In 2016 the 17 sustainable development goals of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development by world leaders at the historic UN Summit. It helps ensures the world tackles challenges like poverty, inequalities and assess climate change. The seventh one is Affordable and Clean Energy.
The International Energy Agency just published that the world is not on track to meet the goal of ensuring all of these are satisfied by the year 2030. Right now we are falling short in all areas of the the SDG7, but some significant progress is being made in some areas.
There are 4 different target which includes:
- Universal Access to Electricity
- Clean Fuels and Technologies for Cooking
- Significant Increase in the Share of Renewables in the Global Energy Mix
- Doubling the Rate of Improvement of Energy Efficiency
Universal Access to Electricity
Significant progress in the access of electricity in more destitute countries recently. With roughly 1 billion people living without electricity the number of people gaining access to electricity has been on the incline since 2010. Even though this progress is vast it isn’t enough to meet the goal, if the trend continues there will be 674 million people without electricity come the year 2030. An interesting find is that off-grid solar solutions are emerging as a significant driver of rural electricity access. This growth has happened due to leadership commitment backed by public financing.
Clean Fuels and Technologies for Cooking
Clean cooking still has lots of room for improvement. When it comes to household air pollution as a result of efficient stoves is responsible for about 4 million deaths per year, women and children most at risk in that scenario. If current trends continue 2.3 billion people will continue to use traditional cooking solutions in 2030, not only impacting the people cooking but the environment as well. Rapid distribution of clean cooking fuels and technology has not received the acknowledgment from policymakers, so to break the trend policies will have to be put in place to further the advancement.
In 2015 17.5% of world energy consumption came from renewable sources. 9.6% of that 17% came from new forms of renewable energy like bioenergy, hydropower, solar and wind. Based on current trend and policies in place, the renewable energy is expected to reach 21% by 2030 which is still short of the SDG7 target. The rapidly falling costs and new policies have allowed for solar and wind to compete is conventional power sources. China accounted for nearly 30% of growth in the renewable energy consumption in 2015 while the United States remains on the top 20 energy consuming countries and renewable energy consumption is growing at a slow rate. Wide adoption of alternative energy sources and phasing out fossil fuels will help shift the current trend.
Trying to decrease our energy use globally has been successful as of 2015, with a 2.8% decrease, the fastest decline since 2010. This progress is still progress but falls short of the 2.6 yearly decline needed to meet the target of doubling the global rate by 2030. For the periods of 2010-2015, the annual decrease was only 2.2%. With continuing trends, we are expected to exceed 2.4% by 2030. If energy efficiency policies continue to be adopted throughout countries, building codes include energy performance standards for new and remodel builds some improvements to the trend can be made.
These types of research studies make it possible for the world to grow and change. With all the data that is collected, we are able to identify and play up our strengths while still realizing we have opportunities and a long way to go in order to keep this planet alive for the generations to come. Are you doing your part?