Essay Why I Talk About Energy Poverty
Perhaps it would be best if I start by defining energy poverty. There is actually some debate among experts on what is to be included in the definition and at what point one can be considered to be experiencing it; but a good, inclusive definition that I have found is this: Energy poverty is not having electricity because it is either not available, not reliable, or not affordable.
Here are a few things you should know about our world. First, about 1.3 billion people in the world are without access to electricity. Secondly, the poorest people are most likely to be affected by energy poverty. Thirdly, these people are more likely to remain poor, because energy poverty stunts the development of a community by negatively affecting one of the most fundamental pillars of a community’s improvement: education.
One-third of primary schools in the world lack electricity. Note that I did not say “one-third of primary schools in developing countries.” That is one-third of all primary schools. In some countries, such as Guinea, only 2% of schools are electrified. Now, nobody is saying that a basic level of education and literacy cannot be acheived without electricity. It can be, and people have been doing it for millenia. However, electricity does improve the quality and availability of that education as well as the likelihood that children will complete or even be able to attend school. Let’s talk about some of the reasons why.