10 October 2017 – Building brighter future for people living in least developed countries

A new report by UN-OHRLLS, Promoting Investment for Energy Access in Least Developed Countries, highlights the significant progress made by a number of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) since 2011 in increasing electrification rates. Advancements have also been made in expanding electricity generation from renewables, implementing effective sustainable energy promotion programmes and attracting financial resources. Despite this progress, only 38 % of the LDC population have access to electricity.

The report highlights how the primary challenge for LDCs is to rapidly step up a sustainable energy transition so that considerable progress can be made towards achieving national targets and international goals, such as those set out in the Istanbul Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda.

Expanding modern energy access globally, especially for a rapidly growing global population, in a climate-friendly manner, requires significant investment in development and cost-effective deployment of low- carbon renewable energy sources.

The report summarizes the types, sources and amount of financing flows into LDCs, recognizing that such financing will be critical to deploying a wide range of energy solutions at the levels required to tackle energy poverty. It takes stock of the current situation in LDCs in terms of energy access, investment flows, financing hurdles, regulatory regimes, and private sector engagement.

Financing sustainable energy is found to have been uneven and insufficient to close the energy gap by 2030 in the LDCs. Despite this, the report notes signs of progress and growing international and investor support. Examples provided throughout the report illustrate the diversity of solutions deployed to meet sustainable energy goals in different contexts, highlighting the importance of creative and evolving combinations of financing models and partners needed to drive them forward.

A set of recommendations for LDC governments, development partners and investors are identified which are crucial for unlocking investments in the energy sector and spurring rapid transition to sustainable energy.

Promoting Investment for Energy Access in Least Developed Countries report is available for the mobile viewing and download here