Definition: Energy Poverty
A situation where people are not tied to an energy grid, using dirty, polluting fuels, and spend much of their time collecting fuel to meet their needs. This living situation diminishes health, income, and happiness.
- Energy poverty is lack of access to modern energy services. It refers to the situation of large numbers of people in developing countries whose well-being is negatively affected by very low consumption of energy, use of dirty or polluting fuels, and excessive time spent collecting fuel to meet basic needs. It is inversely related to access to modern energy services, although improving access is only one factor in efforts to reduce energy poverty. Energy poverty is distinct from fuel poverty, which focuses solely on the issue of affordability.According to the Energy Poverty Action initiative of the World Economic Forum, "Access to energy is fundamental to improving quality of life and is a key imperative for economic development. In the developing world, energy poverty is still rife. Nearly 1.6 billion people still have no access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).". As a result of this situation, a new UN initiative has been launched to coincide with the designation of 2012 as the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All, which has a major focus on reducing energy poverty. Duke University has launched a research project on Household Energy and Health where work on energy poverty in India is listed.