Knowledge Note

"What is the cost for universal access to electricity for low- and middle-income countries?

Today, nearly 1 billion people, half of them in Africa, still lack access to electricity But estimating investment needs for electrification is difficult. Simply connecting households is not sufficient to realize the benefits of electricity: if service expansion comes at the expense of quality and affordability, it will compromise the benefits for existing users and depress demand from potential new users. Moreover, with power generation and heating contributing to 49 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion, the power sector is central to decarbonization efforts.