World Facts

Countries With The Lowest Access To Electricity

For many in sub-Saharan Africa, having a simple power outlet within their homes would be a dream come true.

Many countries around the world still lack widespread access to electricity, despite rural electrification efforts. Furthermore, in many places people with electricity can only rely on intermittent and substandard electric power. Statistics show that 67% of the developing world still goes without household electricity. Electric power access brings many benefits, which include enjoying a range of social, economic, and technological advances. In Africa, a French consulting firm has started an energy facility program that accelerates the building of rural infrastructures for supplying electrical power to the continent's most far-flung areas. Another initiative in Africa has been a push for putting renewable energy systems into place, such as wind, solar, and geothermal generators to power rural African areas. The target of these is to create a reliable and low-cost energy program.

10. Tanzania (15.3% of population)

Tanzania is in great want of electrical energy, and only 15.3% of its population has access to electricity. Nonetheless, the country boasts of having a welath of different potential energy sources from biomass, solar, wind, coal, geothermal, natural gas, and uranium alike. Unfortunately, most of these have remained underdeveloped. The rural areas use biomass collected from Tanzanian forests to meet about 80% of their energy needs, such as burning wood for cooking and heatiung, further worsening habitat degradation there. A study was conducted in regards to bringing electricity to Tanzania's rural areas, though most means were found to not be feasible. TANESCO is the national utility supplying much oif the limited supply of electricity to the nation. The government continues to improve its goal of bringings electricity to all of its regions' peoples.

9. Niger (14.4% of population)

Niger has difficulty supplying electricity to its citizens, and the utility serves only around 14.4% of its population. Much of Niger's population lives in rural areas, most of which are without electricity. Although electricity is not the main energy used by the local people, and most of them are used to going without it, the access would help improve economic development and the overall advancement of their lives. As in many other parts of Africa, biomass is the most widely used energy source here. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is another fuel that households could increasingly utilize in years to come.

8. Sierra Leone (14.2% of population)

Sierra Leone has only about 14.2% of its population currently having access to electricity supplies. The World Bank has made available to Sierra Leone a $40 million credit line, with which it could expand the electricity available to its rural areas. The Energy Sector Utility Reform Project will put up a viable management structure that should improve the national electricity distribution all over the country. This would in turn improve social services, health, and education, as well as present new economic opportunities for Sierra Leone's rural families.

7. Burkina Faso (13.1% of population)

Burkina Faso is also in short supply of energy, and only 13.1% of its population has access to electricity. In 2013, the World Bank granted a $50 million credit to assist the country in its electricity supply development project. This would include the improvement of the power supplies to around 40 rural towns, by way of putting up new transmission lines. The goal is to establish a more reliable power grid that would improve those in rural areas lives as a whole. This project will also aim to improve Burkina Faso's hydropower and thermal stations' capacities and reaches. All of these efforts are done in the hope of improving the living standards of the nation's citizens.

6. Central African Republic (10.8% of population)

The Central African Republic has only 10.8% of its population supplied with electricity. The main cause for this shortage has been the string of frequent rebellions and military coups seen there which have spawned a number of economic crises. This was worsened by the displacement of more than 930,000 of its citizens in 2004 due to these local conflicts. In fact, 50% of the country's population are dependent upon humanitarian assistance. It will likely be some time before electricity requirements are met, or even an improvement seen therein, until the country attains a more stable government.

5. Liberia (9.8% of population)

Liberia also has a short supply of electrical energy, and only 9.8% of its population has electricity. The energy supply in the country is mainly sourced (80%) from biomass, most of which goes towards cooking and heating needs. However, the city of Monrovia has about 85% of its population using charcoal. Some rural households use electrical generator sets, though these need expensive, imported fuel to run. The majority of the electricity and petroleum available in Liberia are used for transportation and urban industrial production.

4. Malawi (9.8% of population)

Malawi has a shortage of infrastructure to supply rural electricity as it is needed , and only 9.8% of its population has access to it. The government's program under the Energy Sector Support Project has involved studies looking into adding additional hydropower stations, as well as those powered by wind, solar, and bio-gas sources. The World Bank was the source of an $85-million loan facilitating part of the project. The government hopes to widen its electricity reach out into its rural areas with the prospective success of this project.

3. Burundi (6.5% of population)

Burundi is also in short supply of energy, with only 6.5% of its population having access to electricity. Although 90% of its total population lives in rural areas, only a small percent there enjoy the benefits of electricity. Burundi's hydroelectrically generated power supply suffers daily power cuts during the dry season as well. Biomass consumption contributes about 94% of its energy needs, and biomass burnt there includes fuel wood, charcoal, agricultural residues, and bagasse. Alternative power is supplied by solar and wind energy. The Ministry of Energy and Mines has partnered with EnDev since 2010 in an effort to bring solar energy to the country for rural electrification purposes.

2. Chad (6.4% of population)

Chad has a shortage of infrastructure to supply much needed rural electricity, and only 6.4% of its population has access to the energy commodity. Transportation and power are also lacking in most rural areas. Electricity is largely supplied by geothermal plants, while fuel comes mostly in the form of wood. About 80% of the country's population works in the agricultural sector. Chad depends on foreign investment for its larger projects, such as the Chad-Cameroon pipeline and the development of several of its major oil fields.

1. South Sudan (5.1% of population)

South Sudan has only 5.1% of its population enjoying access to electricity. It has less than 1% of its roads being paved ones, and less than 1% of the population have formal, Western-style housing as we would recognize it as well. Such a want for facilities has been the result of 30 years of war and government neglect. The government is now trying to attract foreign investors to conduct their varied business ventures within South Sudan. Many of these will be for power generation and distribution, transportation infrastructure, and property development.

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