Giving Compass' Take:

• Access to energy is an overlooked issue as global leaders are focused on climate change and sustainable development. However, there is potential to overcome this challenge with the right financing. 

• How can donors play a role in supporting universal energy access? 

• Learn about addressing energy poverty in India. 

At the heart of efforts to slow climate change and build a more sustainable development future lies the often overlooked and shameful fact that, today, 1 billion people live without access to electricity and 3 billion without access to clean cooking. The challenge for those governments where there are significant energy gaps is a complex one: how to produce cleaner, affordable energy for far more people, far more quickly.

The good news is that if we work together, we can still achieve universal energy access. The innovation and examples of success at small and medium scale across the world help show a pathway.

This is a challenge we must, and can, overcome. But if we’re to do that, we need to help countries unpack one of the key obstacles – lack of finance.

A significant increase in investment is especially needed in Sub-Saharan Africa countries where roughly half a billion people are living without power, most of them in hard-to-reach rural areas. Decentralized renewable energy such as solar, offers a promising solution for these people, but precious little financing – only 1 percent of the finance we tracked - is going into services for them.

Read the full article about energy access by Rachel Kyte at Thomson Reuters Foundation