Poor people's energy outlook 2012

“The PPEO 2012 explains concisely the complex issue of energy access. It is a useful tool to understand the challenges of and potential approaches towards Total Energy Access – both for people new to the field as well as for practitioners. It provides relevant facts and figures that are often unavailable or challenging to find”

Barbara Boerner, Canopus Foundation, and Solar for All

People living without energy are denied the chance to work their way out of poverty. This truth lies at the heart of the Poor people’s energy outlook (PPEO) 2012 which analyses the different types of energy services that poor people need to earn a living. The report argues that where poor people have the sustainable energy access needed to grow enterprises and earn a living it becomes possible to escape the vicious cycle of poverty.

The 2010 report introduced the idea of Total Energy Access and established a set of indicators and minimum standards for measuring progress towards this. Following consultation with peers in the energy access sector, the PPEO 2012 builds upon and refines these standards to distinguish between energy for the household, energy for enterprises, and energy for community services, to better understand these differing, but sometimes overlapping, needs.

For poor people to have greater access to energy services and appliances, a wide range of people and organisations have a role to play. In order to measure and understand how these all fit together, Practical Action proposes using an Energy Access Ecosystems Index. The Index was designed to help understand the factors that influence change such as policy and finance. It proposes a set of 12 indicators that make it possible to measure any given countries progress towards Total Energy Access.  

Read the report online by following the links to the chapters below or download the whole report.

Poor people's energy outlook 2012

The 2012 report, 'Energy for earning a living', was designed to act as a catalyst for a movement for change on energy access, and a source of information to support it.

Chapters for the Poor People's Energy Outlook 2012

  • Foreword by Kandeh Yumkella, Director General, UNIDO
  • Executive Summary
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Energy for Earning a Living
    Outlines energy use across a range of earning activities from agriculture to micro and small-scale enterprises, as well as income gained from the supply of energy itself.
  • Chapter 3: People’s Experience of Energy
    Building on the Total Energy Access standards and Energy Supply Index developed in the PPEO 2010, this chapter maps the energy experiences of 6 communities across Peru, Nepal and Kenya.
  • Chapter 4: Framework for Action
    Sets out a vision for a system change in the way energy is supplied to poor people. The PPEO 2012 develops further the idea of an energy access ecosystem and deliver measurement indicators based on policy, capacity and finance.

Buy a printed copy from

2012 Launch at the UK's Department for International Development Headquarters, London.

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