PublicationJournal Article Affordable Energy for Humanity: A Global Movement to Support Universal Clean Energy Access

July 21, 2019
Publication Type:
Journal Article

Bold actions are nec­es­sary to unlock the poten­tial for eco­nom­ic empow­er­ment by erad­i­cat­ing ener­gy pover­ty (UN Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goal 7) by 2030. This will require a sus­tained com­mit­ment to sig­nif­i­cant lev­els of new invest­ments. Deliv­er­ing on the promise of uni­ver­sal ener­gy access and improved life qual­i­ty has elud­ed pol­i­cy-mak­ers and gov­ern­ments over the past sev­en decades. Afford­abil­i­ty of ener­gy ser­vices for every glob­al cit­i­zen, span­ning vast­ly diverse regions and local con­texts, requires the devel­op­ment and mas­sive dif­fu­sion of tech­nolo­gies that offer “point-of-use” options com­bined with new busi­ness mod­els. Social inno­va­tions and flex­i­ble gov­er­nance approach­es will also need to be inte­grat­ed with tech­no­log­i­cal advances. The scope and scale of devel­op­men­tal change span large-scale grid sys­tems to decen­tral­ized dis­trib­uted resources at com­mu­ni­ty lev­els to the house­holds. We rec­om­mend a glob­al net­work of “ener­gy access inno­va­tion cen­ters” ded­i­cat­ed to pro­vid­ing a dynam­ic “exten­sion ser­vice” that bol­sters the entire sup­ply chain of tal­ent and exper­tise, design and oper­a­tional require­ments of sys­tem deploy­ment and capac­i­ty to embed low-cost, high-per­for­mance next-gen­er­a­tion tech­no­log­i­cal solu­tions in the field. To meet the needs of those at the base of the eco­nom­ic and social pyra­mid, the dual chal­lenges of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment and tran­si­tion to a low-car­bon ener­gy future make clean ener­gy access the quin­tes­sen­tial chal­lenge of the 21st century.

Main Menu

Energy & Resources Group
310 Barrows Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3050
Phone: (510) 642-1640
Fax: (510) 642-1085


  • Open the Main Menu
  • People at RAEL

  • Open the Main Menu