Energy poverty cripples development prospects. Where people don’t have access to modern energy services, like reliable electricity, their ability to earn a livelihood is sabotaged. That’s why UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called — admirably — for “a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all” in 2012, designated the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All .
This sense of urgency is needed, especially in Africa, as current International Energy Agency  forecasts project that the number of people in sub-Saharan Africa without access to modern energy services will grow by almost 100 million between now and 2030 (see the figure below).
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