Energy, as an enabler of development, is inextricably linked to virtually all other SDGs. A question that receives less attention though is: How can we maximise the development effects of energy access?
In principle, energy can (em)power practically any component of the livelihoods of people. However, achieving real and long-lasting results implies a big crucial challenge.
This session covered which context-specific development challenges should be addressed in order to be successful, while also recognising the opportunities and motivations of individuals and their communities.
It also covered creating positive and enduring interlinkages between energy and other sectors such as agriculture, water, education and economic development that can help to boost impacts on all levels.
The session also looked at “SDG7 and beyond”, and explored these and other crucial aspects on how energy can maximise the impacts of multiple related SDGs.
Energy can facilitate development by giving people access to key services like water pumps and chilled food storage. The panel noted that renewable energy is the best solution since it is both cheap and climate friendly. However, access to energy is especially limited in rural areas and girls and women are the most affected by energy poverty since basic tasks like gathering firewood often fall to them. The panel concluded that energy can facilitate development when gender is considered and entrepreneurship and political will are present.