Nodepage

Poor people's energy outlook

Energy is vital to escape poverty. It can save time and improve health at home; help people earn a living and work their way out of poverty; and power community services, from schools and clinics to street lighting and libraries. However, right now, a third of the world’s population has no access to modern energy services. ‘Business as usual’ projections predict that the situation will be the same in 20 years’ time.

By 2030:

  • 900 million people will not have access to electricity
  • 3 billion people will still cook with traditional fuels
  • More than 30 million people will have died due to smoke-related diseases
  • Many hundreds of millions will be confined to poverty due to lack of energy access


Practical Action has launched the Poor people’s energy outlook reports as a catalyst for a movement for change on energy access, and a source of information to support it. This movement for change has as its focus the United Nation’s goal of universal energy access by 2030.

Poor people's energy outlook 2014

There remains an urgent need to focus on what it will really take to deliver access to the 1.3 billion people still lacking access to modern energy services. The 2014 edition of the PPEO re-evaluates the key enabling role that energy plays in lifting people out of poverty, summarises key lessons ...

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Total Energy Access

Total Energy Access is Practical Action's approach to acheiving energy for all. It requires understanding who has access to energy across households, businesses and in the community, and how that energy is used.

Total Energy Access - infographic / poster

The Energy Access Ecosystems approach can be used to measure and understand the ‘health’ of a specific country’s energy system. Explore our interactive graphic to see how all the parts of an ecosystem fit together.

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The Energy and Earning a Living model highlights the key steps and additional support that poor people may need to improve their incomes through modern energy access. Explore the diagram and click for more information.

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Poor people's energy outlook 2014

The 2014 edition of the PPEO looks back at three years of analysis and innovative approaches to defining energy access and addressing energy poverty as presented in previous PPEOs, to re-emphasise the key enabling role that energy plays in lifting people out of poverty, and the logic of and necessity to focus on efforts to boost the nascent decentralized energy sector rather than allowing the already well-established and well-funded conventional, grid-focused energy sector to continue to dominate efforts to expand energy access.

World Cup 2014 energy chart

A poster comparing the energy needed to power the 2014 World Cup stadiums with energy used in developing countries. Includes a wall-chart of all fixtures on the reverse.

Previous reports

Poor people's energy outlook 2013

The Poor people’s energy outlook (PPEO) 2013 focuses on the contribution that improved energy access can make to vital community services such as health, education and infrastructure services including water and street lighting.

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Poor people's energy outlook 2012

People living without energy are denied the chance to work their way out of poverty. This truth lies at the heart of the 2012 report, 'Energy for earning a living', which analyses the different types of energy services that poor people need to earn a living.

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Poor people's energy outlook 2010

The first PPEO presents the perspective of those living in energy poverty and those for whom energy access has been life changing.

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