The problem of energy access or in fact energy poverty lies at the center of human deterioration today, where inspite of rapid developments in clean energy solutions 1.1* billion people still live without access to any form of electricity and 2.7* billion people still cook over open fires. This severe lack of energy access not only undermines health but also inhibits education, limits livelihood opportunities and reduces the overall chances for the poor to rise out of poverty. Clearly reflected in the poor rate of social, economic and environmental progress that nearly one third of the world’s population now represents, energy poverty is also closely interrelated to global warming and climate change as the energy poor continue to use inefficient and polluting forms of biomass and fossil based fuels to fulfill their lighting and cooking needs.
Of the world’s total energy poor, 95%* reside in sub-Saharan African and developing Asia, of which 84%* are in rural areas. In Asia, India is the largest affected nation with nearly 300 million people living without access to clean lighting alternatives.