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Providing access to energy

Around 760 million people in the world have no electricity, according to the International Energy Agency [A], and millions more have unreliable power supply.

[A] International Energy Agency, SDG7: Data and Projections, 2023.

Shell works to bring a reliable and affordable supply of electricity to those who do not have it. We do this commercially, by investing in businesses that supply energy access in emerging markets; and socially, by investing funds and expertise in access to energy programmes.

Investing in energy access

Through our commercial investments, 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.

We are seeking strategic partnerships with governments, utilities, developers, banks and investors to address local challenges and opportunities.

In 2022, we acquired Daystar Power, a provider of solar power to businesses in West Africa. The investment helps expand our energy business into developing markets like those in Africa where more low-carbon electricity is needed. Daystar is now expanding its operations into South Africa. Daystar Power is present in seven countries and runs more than 400 power installations. It has installed more than 50 megawatts of solar power for commercial and industrial customers.

In 2024, we took a further step towards providing access to energy for those without. We pledged $200 million as part of a broader initiative to help people get access to energy in the near and medium term. The initiative aims to help millions of people in underserved communities in sub-Saharan Africa, India and South-east Asia get access to electricity and improved cooking conditions (as defined by the World Bank Multi-Tier Framework).

Read more about our commercial energy access business at

Social programmes

Separate from our commercial activities, we invest in social programmes that benefit communities where we work. Through these voluntary initiatives, we work with partner organisations to help individuals and communities access reliable electricity.

In 2023, we continued to implement programmes to improve access to energy. Through these programmes, around 42,000 people — in India, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Africa — gained access to either electricity or improved cooking conditions. The programmes also provide micro-enterprises with reliable supplies of renewable electricity to power equipment that can generate income, such as water pumps, welding machines or refrigerators to keep agricultural produce fresh.

For instance, in India, we partnered with Care India to promote the use of improved cooking solutions in 25 villages in South Gujarat. Around 5,800 households, two-thirds of those reached by the project, are now using an improved cookstove, compared with none before the project.

And in Nigeria, we worked with Pact in 2022 and 2023 to help micro-enterprises switch from diesel generators to electric motors to power their businesses. The project enabled a 30% reduction in energy consumption and a 60% increase in recorded income.

Read more about how our social investment programmes help to increase access to energy at