The energy poverty situation: a review of developing countries

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This paper reviews the inadequacies in energy systems in the three most deprived regions across developing countries: South Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa and East Asia. It highlights the weaknesses in energy systems contributing to energy poverty at the national levels as well as discusses overlooked issues which translate to energy poverty at household levels. Based on observations, as a starting point, we suggest a new definition for energy poverty in these regions. Finally, we recommend some policies to address highlighted issues. Adequate energy services are a crucial element for sustainable development and are vital for ensuring a good quality of life for people: a fact which has led to increased interest and attention in the area of energy sectors. However, previous strategies and approaches to eradicate energy poverty have failed to accomplish set goals. One of the arguments for this has been the lack of understanding of the problem and inefficient policies. To combat this problem, which the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts will increase by 2030, if not effectively addressed, a better understanding of the energy systems in the most deprived regions is necessary. In addition to this, more effective energy policies which encourage adequate, reliable and affordable energy services need to be designed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Studies in Energy Efficiency and Built Environment for Developing Countries
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-10856-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-10855-7
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2019


  • energy poverty
  • developing countries
  • sustainable development


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