Providing access to energy

Today, around 800 million people have no electricity access at all, and hundreds of millions more have unreliable power supply.

Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals recognises the vital importance of “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” in eradicating poverty and protecting the planet. We are working to provide cleaner and reliable energy to those who do not have it today.

Investing in energy access

Our ambition is to provide reliable electricity supply to 100 million people, in emerging markets, by 2030.

We are working to improve the reliability of existing power supply to on-grid customers and to provide first power to off-grid customers and communities.

Two women repairing a fishing net under a light. (photo)

Shell is working to help achieve universal access to clean, affordable energy.

We have made minority investments in companies that specialise in areas such as solar mini-grids and solar home systems that can deliver the reliable, affordable electricity customers need.

In 2020, we completed minority investments in PowerGen, a company that develops, builds and operates mini-grids in Africa; and in d.light, which provides reliable and affordable solar lighting and power systems for households and small businesses in 70 countries. Our investments are supporting the companies as they scale up their activities, so they can deliver more and cleaner energy to more people.

We are also looking to develop large-scale power projects in key emerging markets.

Read more about our energy access business at

Social programmes

In 2020, we continued to operate social programmes in Canada, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Tanzania, despite COVID-19-related disruptions to local economies and communities.

With our partner, the UN World Food Programme, we are improving food security, education and energy access in an area of the Western Desert, Egypt, where we have exploration activities. Together we aim to provide solar power, internet access and information technology equipment as well as water storage and street lighting to 15 remote community schools.

A man and four boys standing outside a building in the Western Desert, Egypt. (photo)

A family in the Western Desert, Egypt, where we are running a Livelihood Community Project.

As part of our response to COVID-19, we donated $1.7 million in 2020 to six energy access companies in which we have invested. The grants support consumers in financial difficulty because of the pandemic in India, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda and contribute to the installation of solar power systems in hospitals and schools. The grants helped around 800,000 people in 2020.


Read how we are helping people across the world gain access to a reliable supply of cleaner electricity at

United Nations
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