Surviving in bad housing, without electricity and with unsafe cooking is Rich World Reality TV and is an entertaining challenge for a few weeks or months. However, it sucks badly for the everyday life of the worlds poorest billions. The unsafe cooking with indoor smoke and air pollution causes more cancer and disease. The lack of electricity or reduced levels of energy are closely correlated to lower quality of life.
Achieving energy for all and getting safe cooking to everyone would dramatically improve the lives of 2.5 billion people.
Billions of people including the old, babies, children and the sick who can be lives of far less hardship.
Electricity, lights and safety will also increase productivity to enable far greater business and development. This would be a cycle of increasing wealth and development.
$1 trillion over 16 years would be less than 0.1% of the world economy and about $400-1000 for each person.
Education and computers and other improvements would be far easier to deploy when the basic infrastructure is there.
The World Energy Outlook has an energy for all scenario. They define energy for all as at least 250 kilowatt hours per year for a rural household and 500 kilowatt hours per year for an urban household. This increases over time to the regional average. They also require reliable and affordable access to clean cooking facilities.
In the Energy for All Case, additional investment of just under $76 billion is required in order to achieve universal access to clean cooking facilities by 2030, an average of $3.8 billion per year. This investment provides clean cooking facilities to an additional 135 million people per year on average, through a combination of advanced biomass cookstoves, LPG stoves and biogas systems
The World Energy Outlook for 2014 is here. The World Energy Outlook series takes up this question in a full and comprehensive update of the energy investment picture to 2035 – a first full update since the 2003 World Energy Investment Outlook.