Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
The seventh goal can be considered one of the critical goals among the 17 SDGs considering that modern energy is believed to be one of the building blocks of a developed society. It enhances the healthcare services by powering hospitals and clinics, and helps develop the economy by powering all sort of businesses which will eventually lower the poverty levels. Yet, with all the benefits we can get from electricity, today one in five people do not have access to electricity. Energy could be generated in many ways e.g. burning fuel or charcoal to run generators but, in order to make sure that the process does not contradict with the other goals, the seventh goal describes the desired energy to be:
- Affordable, as in economically feasible.
- Reliable, as it has minimal or no risk of failure.
- Sustainable, as it doesn’t depend on exhaustible resource.
- Modern, as in electricity in contrast with firewood or charcoal.
By 2030 the goal aspires a world where energy is accessible for almost everyone, where the share of renewable energy is substantial among the energy mix, where the rate of improvement in energy efficiency is doubled, where research papers and technological advancement are exchanged freely between countries, where all developing countries have the infrastructures needed to provide modern and sustainable energy.
The technological advancements needed to achieve this goal is not impossible, companies have already started to commercialize renewable energy sources and more R&D is done in the field. The cost of solar panels is now almost half what it used to be in the past which makes installing them, in most cases, economically feasible. The current renewable energy proved itself during a windy sunny day in Germany, where the amount of electricity generated from the sun and wind pushed the prices of electricity to go negative allowing people to make profit by consuming electricity.
As Individuals, there are many things we can do in order for us to help achieve the goal. We can support or lead initiatives to deliver electricity to rural areas, we can start campaigns on social media to raise awareness about the topic, or we can contribute by simply managing our electricity consumption more efficiently.