Energy For All
Challenges Associated With This Goal
The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared the decade 2014–2024 as the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), underscoring the importance of energy issues for sustainable development. In adopting the resolution, the General Assembly reaffirmed its determination to make sustainable energy for all a reality. The text calls upon member states to galvanize efforts to make universal access to sustainable modern energy services a priority, noting that 1.2 billion people are without electricity and 2.8 billion people in developing countries rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating. It expressed concern that even when energy services are available, millions of poor people are unable to pay for them.
The resolution stressed the need to improve access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable, and environmentally sound energy services and resources for sustainable development. To that end, it also highlighted the importance of improving energy efficiency, increasing the share of renewable energy, and cleaner and energy-efficient technologies.
Significantly, the resolution recognized the importance of giving appropriate consideration to energy issues in elaborating the development agenda. The General Assembly called upon governments as well as relevant international and regional organizations and other relevant stakeholders to combine the increased use of new and renewable energy resources, more efficient use of energy, greater reliance on advanced energy technologies, including cleaner fossil fuel technologies and the sustainable use of traditional energy resources, to meet the increasing need for energy services.
In This Issue
This background was the impetus driving Hugh Rudnick’s proposal to cover this urgent call for action in depth. It led to the solicitation of six articles, gathered from around the globe. The first three offer macro overviews of the opportunities and challenges that may be encountered, while the following three look in depth at isolated communities in different parts of the world that only have access either to simple sources of energy and others that have access only to very expensive or environmentally detrimental sources.
Hugh Rudnick, in his “Guest Editorial,” provides an analysis of the issue theme and an introduction to the well-written articles that detail the situation. Once again I am grateful to him for the outstanding effort entailed in providing the quality of material that is available to us in this issue.
Time to Vote
This year, beginning in August, will mark the IEEE election cycle where we as IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) voting members determine the identification of the Division VII director who is our representative on the IEEE Board of Directors. The election itself will be for the office of Division VII director-elect in 2015, who will then serve as the director of the Division in 2016 and 2017. The nominees for the position, recommended by the PES Nominations and Appointments Committee, chaired by Past-President Noel Schulz and approved by the PES Governing Board, are John Paserba and Alan Rotz. Our issue’s “Society News” column offers voters an in-depth introduction to these highly qualified candidates and is required reading for all voters.
We are pleased to offer a Tom Blalock-authored “History” column, describing the monumental achievement of relocating the substation that was the source of power for Grand Central Station in New York City. The myriad issues that were encountered and the engineering obstacles to be overcome make for fascinating reading. Complementing Tom’s work are the skills of Associate Editor Carl Sulzberger, resulting yet again in a gripping presentation.
A Call for New Thinking
The issue’s “In My View” column offers appropriate concluding commentary by the World Bank. In that piece, there is a clarion call for new thinking about the approaches for access to electricity and a call for stakeholder action. Comments are welcome; kindly send any to firstname.lastname@example.org.