Around the world, 1.2 billion people do not have reliable access to electricity. That’s more than 1 in every 6 people on the planet without lighting for hospitals, refrigeration for food and medicine, and clean, safe sources of fuel for cooking and lighting.

To end poverty, we need to expand access to modern energy services. At the same time, we have to tackle climate change. Sustainable energy, like solar and wind power, is a solution to both global challenges.

In 2011, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative to mobilize action from governments, businesses, non-profits, and other groups to:

  • Provide universal access to modern energy services;
  • Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and
  • Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

This week, leaders from around the world are gathered for the Sustainable Energy for All Forum at the UN to advance progress on these goals. As they meet, we’re sharing five facts you should know about sustainable energy:

  1. Renewable energy is raising investments.
  2. Renewable energy is creating jobs. 
  3. The world is now adding more capacity for renewable power than fossil fuel generating capacity. 
  4. Solar has gone global, and it’s huge in Bangladesh. 
  5. Millions of homes are already being powered by off-grid renewable energy systems. 
    • The International Renewable Energy Agency recently released a report that stated that nearly 26 million households are served by off-grid renewable energy systems, such as solar home systems, mini-wind turbines, and renewables-based mini-grids.

To learn more about the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, visit, follow @SE4ALL on Twitter, or like Sustainable Energy for All on Facebook at