/ Across Sub-Saharan Africa, 72% of hospitals lack access to reliable electricity; many rely on diesel generators, which are costly and highly polluting.
Diverse challenges need tailored solutions
At present, some 2.5 bln people still rely on traditional fuels (wood, dung and biomass) for cooking and heating. This makes tackling energy poverty in the kitchen the biggest challenge within Sustainable Development Goal No 7 (SDG7), universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.
But other types of energy poverty persist. Lack of electricity is widespread across the poorest countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, particularly in rural areas. Where villages have been electrified in recent decades, often the level of generation supports only very basic needs such as lighting and charging mobile phones. Without sufficient power for equipment and appliances, billions of people remain trapped in livelihoods that require manual labour for poor pay.
But many feel ill-equipped to make wise decisions because, as multiple studies show, most know relatively little about ‘the invisible force’ they rely on, every minute of every day. To deliver a just, clean energy transition, energy stakeholders must include citizens in the process.
Even in rich, modern economies, a large share of citizens may be classified as energy poor. While modern services are largely available, acquiring enough energy to support health and well-being may be unaffordable. Often, this reflects poor quality housing that requires excessive amounts of energy to achieve thermal comfort, whether warmth in winter or cooling in summer.
Recognising that different contexts require different solutions, EnAct believes different types of energy injustice warrant their own channels. Our existing and/or proposed websites aim to serve as news channels and growing resources of topic-specific content. Our pilot site, COLD@HOME is the most developed and represents the wealth of material we hope to develop on other topics.
/ In 2013, medical conditions linked to chronic cold cost the UK National Health Service ~GPB 848 mln.
EnAct’s pilot project, COLD@HOME features reporting from across the EU and North America, investigating the harsh reality that more and more people are unable to afford sufficient energy services in climates that straddle bitterly cold winters and increasingly hot summers.
In addition to exploring how the combination of poor-quality housing, low incomes and high energy costs affects individual families, it makes the case that underconsumption of energy leads to illnesses and excess seasonal deaths that carry high costs for national health services.
Solutions reporting highlights technical, policy, financing and civic/social interventions that have been proven effective and warrant adaption and scaling up to other contexts.
Engage with EnAct
Billions of people are directly or indirectly affected by lack of access to affordable energy services. And thousands are actively working on solutions. EnAct is keen to raise awareness of both sides of this vitally important story.
As such, we are actively seeking funders and collaborators to expand our reporting. For more information, see ‘Ways to Engage’ or contact us directly: email@example.com
Connect with EnAct on social media channels:
The ENERGY ACTION Project
EnAct is a project of ACT 4, a non-profit association registered in France (No. de Siret: 805 036 936 00013) that supports cultural initiatives that raise awareness of and engagement in social issues.
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