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Achieving universal electricity requires quality energy data to inform electrification projects and shape models and strategies.

BLOG | The Global Electrification Platform: Least-Cost Strategies Toward Universal Electricity Access

Achieving universal electricity requires quality energy data to inform electrification projects and shape models and strategies —data that governments with limited resources often lack.

In fact, the prohibitive cost and time required to develop electrification models is one of the biggest barriers to planning and implementing electrification projects.

Today, more than 750 million people still lack access to electricity, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Without urgent action, the world will fall short of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy.

Since 2019, the open access and interactive Global Electrification Platform (GEP) has equipped countries with key energy data to model least-cost electrification and investment scenarios.

These realistic and cost-effective scenarios provide a roadmap of how countries can achieve universal access to electricity by 2030—first through an intermediate strategy for 2025 and full electrification by 2030.

GEP presents 96 different scenarios in 58 countries, synthesizing into one smart model the current energy access landscape in specific countries or geographical areas and the investment needed to achieve universal access.

Here’s an example for Burkina Faso. To reach full nationwide electrification by 2030, the country needs to build 2.4 GW of additional energy capacity requiring a $7.7 billion investment.

Burkina Faso projection to reach full nationwide electrification by 2030

The World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) has for decades been working on compiling data and analysis related to electricity access and investment. As part of this work, GEP was recently updated to include more refined electrification and investment scenarios, demand projections, cost updates (e.g., grid), and much more. A new color scheme now makes the platform accessible to people with color vision deficiency.

During a work trip to Somaliland, GEP helped our team compile a national energy access assessment for the government and establish realistic steps to expand electrification.

Now it’s your turn to try it! I also encourage you to learn about geospatial energy modeling and how to build your own electrification analysis.