SEforALL releases report on electricity access financing, including hydropower

According to the most recent report from Sustainable Energy for All, investments in large hydro plants dropped to US$500 million in 2015-16, compared with US$1.6 billion in 2013-14, in part due to changes in long-term hydrological conditions arising from climate change. And investments in small hydro were US$400 million in 2015-2016, compared with US$500 million in 2013-14.

The report, Understanding the Landscape 2018: Tracking Finance for Electricity and Clean Cooking Access in High-Impact Countries, was a product of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), with external contributions from the Climate Policy Initiative.

Globally there are almost 1 billion people without access to electricity. The report focuses on public and private finance commitments in 20 developing countries – known as the high-impact countries – that together account for nearly 80% of those living without access to sustainable energy.

The countries are: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Congo, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Korea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Yemen.

SEforALL says “There has been a dramatic and encouraging increase in electricity access investments over the last four years overall in the 20 high-impact countries.” Overall electrification finance commitments increased 56% from 2013-14 to 2015-16, SEforALL says. Of this, international finance remained steady, international public finance declined and international private finance more than doubled. And domestic private finance (largely located in India) increased threefold and represents roughly half of all electricity access finance flows tracked.

Despite the overall increase in electricity finance, the report says committed finance stands at only half of the US$52 billion that is needed annually to achieve universal electricity access.

However, overall, “This report clearly demonstrates that the financial commitments to achieve universal access to electricity and clean cooking are still falling far short of where it is needed in terms of both the level of committed funding as well as the most appropriate energy sectors and country recipients.”

SEforALL “empower[s] leaders to broker partnerships and unlock finance to achieve universal access to sustainable energy as a contribution to a cleaner, just and prosperous world for all.”

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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