SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy

The 7th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 7) aims to "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all" by 2030. This goal addresses a critical issue: energy is essential for development, poverty eradication, and improving quality of life. It focuses on three key targets: ensuring universal access to modern energy services, increasing the share of renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency. 

Advancing Universal Access to Modern Energy Services

First, the goal seeks to provide universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services. As of today, nearly 800 million people globally still lack access to electricity, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and rural areas of developing countries. Ensuring access to modern energy sources, such as electricity and clean cooking facilities, can significantly improve health, education, and economic opportunities.    

Reinventing Renewable Energy and Enhancing Energy Efficiency

Second, the goal emphasizes increasing the global share of renewable energy in the energy mix. Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, and biomass, are crucial for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. Transitioning to renewable energy can also enhance energy security, create jobs, and foster sustainable economic growth. The target is to substantially increase the share of renewables in the global energy mix by 2030. 

Third, the goal aims to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. Energy efficiency means using less energy to perform the same task, which reduces energy costs and lowers emissions. This can be achieved through technologies such as energy-efficient appliances, buildings, and industrial processes. Improving energy efficiency is vital for decoupling economic growth from energy consumption and reducing the environmental impact of energy use. 

Achieving SDG 7 requires international cooperation, investment in infrastructure and technology, and supportive policies and regulations. Progress has been made, but significant challenges remain, including financing gaps, technological barriers, and political will. By addressing these challenges, the global community can ensure that everyone has access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy, driving forward sustainable development and improving lives worldwide. 

WSA Winners for SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy