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“Modern energy access” is finally on the international agenda, but the current common definition of 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per capita per year is far too low.
To reflect likely demand and historical trends would require measuring energy usage at higher levels, such as 300 and 1,500 kWh per capita per year.
Given that 70 percent of a nation’s energy is typically consumed outside the home, national development plans would benefit from country targets consistent with their industrial and commercial aspirations. Like income, per capita kilowatt-hour country categories could be useful benchmarks.
The UN and other international bodies should adopt these new targets and definitions.