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Studies suggest that under the current policy settings the region will not achieve all the SDG7 targets (Energy Transition Pathways, ESCAP, 2018). Access to electricity will reach 99 per cent by 2030, leaving an estimated 63 million people in the region without access. Slow progress in access to clean cooking technology and the lack of support in the current policy environment will see 1.6 billion people cooking with traditional biomass by 2030. While significant growth in renewables has taken place in absolute terms, estimates show that under the current policy environment, the region’s renewable energy share will grow from 7 per cent today to 14 per cent by 2030. The RE share will need to reach 35 per cent if both SDG7 and the Paris Agreement are to be achieved by 2030. Energy efficiency in the region is improving, however, at the current trajectory, it is expected to fall short of reaching the SDG7 target.

The achievement of SDG7 targets requires an integrated system approach by considering the synergies between its constituent elements - increasing access to modern energy services, improving energy efficiency, reducing emissions from the energy sector, and increasing the share of renewable energy.

Constraints, such as resources availability and the emission reduction targets under Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), need to be considered. A national SDG7 implementation roadmap that aligns with the existing national energy plan and strategy with SDG7 targets and NDCs as well as provides guidance for policymakers on what is required to achieve SDG7 and NDC targets and can offer a set of policy recommendations based on suggested energy transition pathways.

ESCAP is developing a tool - the National Expert SDG Tool for Energy Planning (NEXSTEP) - to support the development of national SDG7 roadmaps. This tool would enable policymakers to make informed policy decisions to support the achievement of the SDG7 and emission reduction targets. This initiative has been undertaken in response to the Ministerial Declaration of the 2nd Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (April 2018, Bangkok) and the Commission Resolution 74/9.


The three key steps of the methodology are

  1. Energy modeling will help estimate the share of different energy resources, and identify the technological interventions needed to achieve those shares
  2. Economic analysis to identify the economically feasible options/interventions
  3. Scenario analysis to determine/identify the policies that are feasible for implementation in the national context.

The methodology has been peer-reviewed by a panel of external experts. The panel members provided very positive feedback with a recommendation for a few minor adjustments. The methodology also has been tested in Indonesia (one of the three pilot countries) by energy planners and experts in collaboration with the National Energy Council (NEC) and found to be very useful for SDG7 planning.