Industrial development and population growth has led to a surge in global demand for energy in recent years. An electricity shortage is felt most by those who depend on electricity for heating, cooking, and water supply.
The limited supply of natural resources used to power society are diminishing as demand rises. These supplies can take hundreds of thousands of years to replace and under such circumstances; a sustained energy crisis may become a humanitarian crisis.
Governments, concerned individuals, and global initiatives have prioritized the use of renewable resources and are encouraging the reduction of irresponsible use of natural supplies through increased conservation efforts. This has taken the form of increased regulation and restriction on carbon emissions, the promotion of greener manufacturing and construction projects, the funding of research into hybrid technologies, the development of more sustainable technologies..
An estimated 1.2 billion people – 17% of the global population – did not have access to electricity in 2013,a significant 84 million fewer than in the previous year. Many more suffer from a supply that is of poor quality. More than 95% of those living without electricity are in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia –predominantly in rural areas. While still far from complete, progress in providing electrification in urban areas has outpaced that in rural areas two to one since 2000.
In 2013, an estimated $12.7 billion in capital investment was directed to improving access to electricity worldwide. Overwhelmingly, these energy access investments went to the power sector, either to increase generation capacity or to extend transmission and distribution networks.
Source: International Energy Agency