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Co-Chair of the Energy Access Targets working group; Senior Fellow and Chief Operating Officer, Center for Global Development
Former president, African Development Bank; Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development; Hauser Leader-in-Residence, Harvard University
Founding Partner, Kupanda Capital
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University
Energy Sector Team Lead, Power Africa, USAID
How much energy do the world’s poor need? The current commonly used definition is a mere 100 kilowatts hours per person per year—or enough to power a single lightbulb for five hours per day and charge a mobile phone. Such a low bar can have profound implications for national targets, for international goals, and on a wide range of critical investment decisions with long-term effects on development. CGD convened the Energy Access Targets Working Group in response to the growing attention to the energy needs of the poor, to the severe gaps in access, and a concern about the specific indicators being used to measure progress. In this report, the Working Group presents five recommendations for a new standard of energy access that would signify meaningful transformation in households and national economies.