Access to electricity can end extreme poverty

A fifth of the world’s population don’t have access to electricity. Join our campaign to fight for them.

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Imagine not being able to turn on a light, boil a kettle, or keep food safe to eat. This is life for 1.2 billion people.

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1
people living without electricity
4
people die every year from cooking with wood or dung stoves
800
children die every year from contaminated water

"Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability."

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General

"...a light where currently there is darkness; the energy needed to lift people out of poverty - that's what opportunity looks like"

Barack Obama, President of the United States

"If you could pick just one thing to lower the price of, to reduce poverty, you would pick energy. If you gave me only one wish this is the wish I would pick, this is the one with the greatest impact … it’s the most important investment we can make for the world."

Bill Gates, Philanthropist

Our mission

Electricity holds the key to ending poverty. With it, we can help the 1.2 billion people who don’t have access to power – and radically improve their life chances. 

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Get the facts

Find out more about the far-reaching social and economic consequences of life without electricity.

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Story of Dharnai

If you want to know why electricity matters, ask the people of Dharnai – a typical Indian village of around 3,000 people in Bihar, Eastern India.

Story of Dharnai

Latest updates

Kenya signs energy deal with America’s General Electric

Kenya signs energy deal with America’s General Electric

| Kenya | No Comments

Kenya has signed an agreement with the US engineering giant General Electric to supply its flagship energy project with the latest “ultra-supercritical” clean coal technology. The proposed 1050MW coal plant…

US lagging far behind China in exports of clean fossil technology to energy poor countries

US lagging far behind China in exports of clean fossil technology to energy poor countries

| Developing Countries | No Comments

Last year the US Government announced plans to set up a Clean Fossil Alliance, with the aim of helping poorer countries that need fossil fuels to develop to use those…

Global CCS Institute calls for the transfer of CCS tech to developing nations

Global CCS Institute calls for the transfer of CCS tech to developing nations

| Developing Countries | One Comment

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) garners less attention than renewable energy, but experts say it’s just as vital for a zero-emissions future. And a growing chorus is calling for it…

UK bank takes pragmatic stance on coal power for development

UK bank takes pragmatic stance on coal power for development

| Bangladesh, Developing Countries, Indonesia | No Comments

Despite coming under pressure from Western environmental activists, British bank HSBC has said it will continue to fund coal power in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam HSBC has also promised to…

Game-changing US aid reforms could become law by the end of the year

Game-changing US aid reforms could become law by the end of the year

| Developing Countries | One Comment

Landmark legislation to reform the way the United States gives development aid could become law by the end of the year, according to the Senator behind the bill. As previously…

An International Solar Alliance cannot solve energy poverty on its own

An International Solar Alliance cannot solve energy poverty on its own

| Affordable electricity | No Comments

Britain has announced it is joining the International Solar Alliance (ISA): a group of countries pledged to increase the use of solar power in the developing world. The ISA plans…

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