ENERGY POVERTY-A MULTIDIMENSIONAL GLOBAL PHENOMENON

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The phenomenon of energy poverty and the resolution of the problems induced by it on modern society constitute a challenge on global scale. Energy poverty is a pressing problem affected by the complicated interaction of multiple factors – the increase of energy prices, people’s inability to pay their energy bills, flat or failing income, high levels of unemployment and the slow pace at which implementation of energy-efficient measures in residencies is taking place. The evidence-based, adverse effects of the aforementioned interaction are felt on social, environmental, and financial levels. The way to tackle the problem has yet to be paved.

In developing countries, energy poverty is primarily experienced as lack of access to basic energy services. According to estimates published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), more than 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity and consequently lack access to services and provisions that the rest of the population take for granted. According to the United Nations statistics, another important aspect of the problem is that 1 billion people have access to energy services and provisions albeit unreliable.

The fact that approximately 20% of the global population is deprived of access to electricity reflects the prevalence of energy poverty on global scale as well as the magnitude of the problems stemming from this predicament.

Across developed countries, among which Member States of the European Union, the concept of energy poverty is perceived differently. In these countries energy poverty mainly suggests permanent or temporary inability to access energy services and provisions. It is estimated that more than 50 million households in the E.U, equating 10% of the population, struggle with the phenomenon and its implications according to the European Union’s Energy Poverty Observatory (EPOV).

Τhe online workshop Energy Poverty – A Multidimensional Global Phenomenon, organised by the University of Bahrain, INZEB and the EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network aims to raise awareness in regards to energy poverty, to analyse the terms energy poverty and energy vulnerability, to discuss the different factors that result to the increase of energy poverty levels in different regions and present EU initiatives aiming to support households and the society in mitigation of the social problem.

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