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Sustainable Development Goal 7

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Gains in electricity access, energy efficiency and renewable energy are encouraging signs in the global energy outlook. Yet 840 million people still do not have access to electricity. The transition toward low-carbon systems presents opportunities to build energy services that are universal, affordable, reliable and sustainable. However, at the current rate, the world is unlikely to meet these goals by 2030.

To accelerate progress, WRI’s Energy Program engages with governments, financial institutions and civil society to ensure an affordable energy transition for all people (SDG 7.2, SDG 7.3). Our teams deliver insights and analysis to speed solutions that increase energy efficiency and energy access, with the energy access work focused on India and East Africa (SDG 7.1, SDG 7.2, SDG 7.3).

WRI's renewable energy work drives alignment and investment in electricity markets to meet rising consumer demand for an affordable transition to clean energy. We also help policymakers align their energy planning with development objectives. Our Energy Access Explorer data platform helps governments and entrepreneurs expand access to clean electricity in East Africa by showing significant renewable energy potential in unserved and underserved areas of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (SDG 7.1, SDG 7.2, SDG 7.A, SDG 7.B).

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John Woolard, a Senior Fellow in World Resources Institute’s Energy Program, argues that it’s time for consumers to shift their focus from adding more renewables to committing to 100% zero-carbon energy.


Despite the uptick in renewable energy usage, global emissions have steadily increased. Senior Fellow John Woolard argues that commitments to 100% renewables, while critical for sending market signals to increase investment, will not alone achieve the system change needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It's time for companies and countries to commit to 100% zero-carbon energy.

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Lori Bird, Director of U.S. Energy at WRI, sits down with WRI Vice President for Communications Lawrence MacDonald to talk about the tech (batteries and rooftop solar), policy (net metering and RPS), movements and politics that are powering the renewables surge in the United States.

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