12 June 2018

#SDGsinAcademia: Goal 7

As part of the ongoing campaign on the Sustainable Development Goals carried out by the United Nations, United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is presenting a weekly series of articles on #SDGSinAcademia that highlights the importance of higher education in achieving the Goals. Featuring additional sources for use by faculty and students alike, this series is intended to inspire action on the SDGs and showcase activities and initiatives of UNAI member institutions.

12 June 2018 - This week we are featuring in our #SDGsinAcademia series Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all


  • 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  • 7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix 
  • 7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency 
  • 7.A By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
  • 7.B By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support

What are UNAI member institutions doing about Goal 7? Here are some examples:

The Universidad Antonio Nariño (Colombia) has organized a Seminar in Renewable Energies Fundamentals aimed to develop skills to manage and focus renewable and alternative energy projects with the basis of the academic and scientific research made by the faculty of the university. A research line has been established to study the properties of different renewable energy sources.

The Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil) is actively promoting the use of renewable energies by using a solar power plant through its Institute of Energy and Environment. The plant is composed of four subsystems, three of them at the Institute and a fourth one at one of the institution's libraries. Combined, they are connected to the electricity system of the campus, supplying 1% (540 kW) of the total demand of energy.

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain) offers a Master's programme in Renewable Energies intended to train professionals to enable them to conduct their activity in this sector addressing technological development and innovation with the participation of scholars and industry experts from the field. The programme pays particular attention to photovoltaics and wind energy.

The University of Athens (Greece) hosts the Energy Policy and Development Centre which among a wide range of activities, organizes an International Conference on energy policy issues -this year's edition will take place in October-, publishes the Euro-Asian Journal of Sustainable Energy Development Policy and undertakes different projects focused on energy efficiency and green energy. 

University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom) undergraduate students of Environmental Sciences, through the project Elpis, used their technical skills to provide a lifeline for refugees by creating solar-powered mobile phone charging units for refugees living in camps in Greece, enabling them to contact families and access vital information. The units generate electricity for 12 devices per hour and run for 10 hours a day.

The Université Catholique de Bukavu (Democratic Republic of the Congo) is planning to have a solar energy production centre in order to guarantee the supply of electricity and to make a contribution in the fight against pollutant gases that are commonly used in generators when there is a power outage or when the electricity flow is insufficient. This will allow complete energy autonomy for this institution.

The University of Zanjan (Iran) has acted as the national coordinator of the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking and has focused its recent work on sustainability, both inside and outside the campus, implementing different projects for energy management. Furthermore, this institution has developed a series of specific proposals regarding the increase in the use of renewable energies, particularly using solar energy.

Kristy Jayanti College (India) through its Department of Life Sciences has been conducting during the past few years an annual energy audit. Faculty and students are engaged in scientific research to find out different methods to conserve energy and their research has led to increase awareness within the academic community and to install various alternative energy sources across the campus.

Nagoya University (Japan) will host from September 19 - 21, 2018, the 4th International Conference on Renewable Energy and Development (ICRED 2018) with the objective of presenting the latest research and results of scientists related to renewable energy while providing opportunities to exchange new ideas and to find global partners for future collaboration. The deadline for submissions is June 20, 2018.

Northeastern University (United States) hosts the Center for Renewable Energy Technology which aims to be at the frontier of science and technology of clean energy conversion and storage. The range of efforts includes materials science, advanced in situ spectroscopy, micro-fabrication methods and manufacturing technology. Besides research overall activities include education, outreach and entrepreneurship. 

Here you can take a look to a selection of the Activity Reports submitted by UNAI member institutions.


The following resources can help improving your knowledge and understanding about Goal 7 in particular and the SDGs in general:

  • This is a comprehensive research guide made by the United Nations Library in Geneva listing resources about the SDGs in general and about each one of the Goals, including books and articles (some of which are fully available on line free of charge), UN documents such as resolutions and reports and additional resources.
  • The SDG Fund has created this online library featuring over 1,000 online publications. The publications are categorized by the Goals they represent, by geographical regions they relate to and by authors, to facilitate easy searchability. Each publication also has a short summary attached to it which helps with keyword searches.
  • This is an initiative supported by UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which offers a selection of tools such as concept notes, papers, case studies, compilation of best practices and guides providing contextual and practical information about the SDGs.
  • This is a guide entitled Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals intended for stakeholders and designed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve as an initial basis for implementing the SDGs.
  • This guide entitled Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities was also developed by the SDSN to help universities, higher education institutions and the academic sector in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to accelerate their contributions to the SDGs highlighting the important role universities have in implementing the SDGs through their teaching, research, operations and leadership, and providing practical guidance and examples to inspire further action.
  • This guide entitled Sustainable Development Goals - Human Response Alignments features the human element of change and the human response corresponding to each of the SDGs in order to quicken the global conversation about vital issues and to encourage the movement that supports the vision of the SDGs.


Global Action on Sustainable Energy

Global Action on Sustainable Energy
A new publication by 50 authoritative agencies, including UN DESA, proposes a Global Agenda for Accelerated Action on Sustainable Energy.