Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy can greatly improve quality of life for all. However, there is a considerable gap in the benefits from energy resources across the 22 Pacific Islands Countries and Territories (PICTs). The Pacific Islands region is facing a unique and challenging situation with respect to energy security and resilience. Demographics vary widely between countries, but often feature small, isolated population centres. Markets are very thin, difficult to serve, and without significant economies of scale. Across the PICTs, 36% of the population is without access to electricity, but access varies widely, from 10% to 100% at the national level. Half of the population in the Pacific are still using fuels such as biomass and kerosene for cooking which are detrimental to their health and the environment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a key factor in slowing progress toward energy access in the region in the last 2 years. At the current rate of progress, 20 % of the population will remain without electricity by 2030 despite the fact that most PICTs have made commitments to achieve 100% energy access by 2030. Addressing these gaps has become more crucial, especially since the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 7 (ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all) recognizes that energy is central to progress in all areas of development.
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