We are working for affordable, safe and sustainable energy for all

Power is fundamental for almost all the great challenges and opportunities facing the world right now, but nearly one billion people still live without access to electricity. It is necessary to universalise access to clean, reliable energy services in order to achieve a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable planet.

Nearly one billion people worldwide — 840 million, according to the World Bank in 2020 — live without electricity. That is over 10 % of the world's population. A further one billion are connected to unreliable and unstable electricity networks, according to Frontiers 2017, the latest report from the United Nations (UN, 2017) on environmental challenges.

Another representative figure can be added to these two: nearly 3 billion people, in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, still cook with contaminating fuels (wood, charcoal, manure or coal), which is 40 % of the world's population. This fact is one of the conclusions arrived at by the World Health organisation (WHO), together with the World Bank, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the UN and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in the study Tracking SDG7: The energy progress report, published in 2019.

Confronting this situation has become a primary international objective, and ensuring access to affordable, safe, clean, sustainable and modern energy for all is the seventh of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, approved in September 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda.

Keys to understanding the worldwide electricity shortage.#RRSSKeys to understanding the worldwide electricity shortage.

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Keys to understanding the worldwide electricity shortage [PDF]


At Iberdrola group we have incorporated the Sustainable Development Goals approved by the UN in September 2015 into our business strategy and Sustainability Policy. In line with our activity, we are focussing our efforts on SDG 7: affordable and clean energy.

With a track record of over 170 years, Iberdrola is today a multinational energy leader that produces and supplies electricity for almost 100 million people in the countries in which it operates. Since January 2014, Iberdrola's Electricity for All program has contributed to more than seven million people benefiting from access to electricity through projects based on modern forms of energy and with sustainable environmental models, all of them carried out in countries in Latin America and Africa. After achieving its target for the number of beneficiaries reached two years before planned — the initial target for achieving this goal was 2020 and it was reached in 2018 —, the company has made a further commitment to reach 16 million by 2030, distributed between Brazil and Mexico.

Electricity for All has made us the world's first utility company to launch a specific programme focused on SDG 7.


The lack of access to safe, sustainable and affordable energy causes serious problems for the population: the UN declares that four million premature deaths are attributable to the contaminated air deriving from burning biomass for cooking and generating heat. In addition, the environment, our planet, is also affected: The United Nations explains that energy represents 60 % of all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the main cause of climate change.

The majority of people living without electricity are located in Sub-Saharan Africa — with only 44 % of the population having access to it — with Burundi, Chad and Malawi at the top of the list.


Despite the number of people in the world without access to electricity having reduced by more than half since 2000, it is necessary to apply measures to end this situation or in 2030 there will still be 674 million people without electricity and 2.3 billion people using contaminating solid fuels for cooking.

For this reason, the targets set for 2030 are:

  • To ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.
  • To increase the proportion of renewable energy in all energy sources.
  • To boost international cooperation in order to facilitate access to research and technology relating to clean energy.
  • To expand the infrastructure and improve the technology that helps to provide modern and sustainable energy services for all.