Energy-related services are highly interconnected with socio-economic development and human well-being. Yet life without reliable energy is a reality for more than 745 million people globally, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Without reliable power, refrigerators can’t safely store food or vaccines, hospitals can’t power medical devices and agricultural produce can’t be processed.

To improve people’s lives around the world, we need to think beyond supply and demand. We need to ensure access to affordable, reliable and clean energy for those who need it the most. WRI works to extend access to energy for unserved and underserved communities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, includes local communities in key decision-making, and supports workers who can benefit from new job opportunities in a just energy transition.

WRI collaborates with national and subnational governments and policymakers, technical experts, service delivery organizations, development institutions and businesses to extend access to electricity across unserved and underserved areas, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

WRI’s award-winning platform Energy Access Explorer is a free, GIS-based mapping tool available in 15 countries that allows energy planners, investors and clean energy entrepreneurs to identify areas with the greatest need and opportunity to expand access to energy. 

Our work also focuses on building better lives and livelihoods through the productive use of renewable energy in healthcare and agriculture, working with hospitals and clinics as well as local farmers in Africa and Asia to ensure clean, affordable and reliable energy powers vital services and promote healthier lives and greater prosperity.


Photo by UK Department for International Development/Flickr