Energy access policies continue to bear fruit, with 2019 data showing important progress. The number of people without access to electricity dropped from almost 860 million in 2018 to 770 million in 2019, a record low in recent years. In India, the government announced having reached full electricity access in 2019, and effective policies have been implemented in a number of countries in Africa. Nonetheless, past progress is being reversed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In sub-Saharan Africa, while the number of people without access to electricity has steadily declined since 2013, it is now set to increase in 2020, pushing many countries farther away from achieving the goal of universal access by 2030.

Our latest country-by-country assessment shows that in 2019, the number of people without electricity access had dropped to 770 million, a record low in recent years. However, progress remains uneven, and 75% of the population without access now live in sub-Saharan Africa, a share that has risen over recent years.

Almost 1.2 billion people have gained access to electricity in developing Asia since 2000, with 96% of the region having access to electricity in 2019 compared with 67% in 2000. Around two-third of this progress has occurred in India, where the government announced that more than 99% of the population had access to electricity in 2019, thanks to the ambitious Saubhagya Scheme launched in October 2017. The government is now targeting a 24/7 supply of electricity and such accelerated progress can serve as a case in point to inspire efforts in other areas of the world.

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