UNDP Asia-Pacific Sustainable Energy Report Calls to Prioritize Access in Poor and Rural Communities

UNDP14 August 2013: The UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre released a report on sustainable energy, calling on governments and aid donors to prioritize energy access for productive uses, especially in poor and rural communities.

The report, titled 'Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in the Asia-Pacific, explores opportunities to increase adoption of sustainable energy solutions in the region, in line with the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL). The report covers 18 countries in the region, highlighting progress in energy provision but also significant levels of unmet need and continuing use of traditional fuels for cooking, heating and lighting. It urges governments and donors to undertake specific programming to reach poor and rural communities, emphasizing the linkages of energy access with health, development and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The report identifies specific barriers to sustainable energy deployment, including: technical barriers such as lack of equipment, expertise or maintenance; economic or financial barriers such as distorted energy prices, poverty and lack of financing; political and institutional barriers such as corruption, instability and lack of human resource capacity; and social and cultural barriers such as community opposition and lack of awareness.

The report makes three recommendations: prioritizing energy access, especially for productive uses; ensuring that the post-2015 agenda promotes bottom-up energy solutions for both energy efficiency and renewable energy; and establishing an energy knowledge hub in the Asia-Pacific region to improve coordination and support of sustainable energy approaches. [Publication: Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in the Asia-Pacific] [UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre web story] [SE4ALL website]