The rate of progress of energy resource development in many developing countries has been quite inadequate both in relation to their potential endowment as well as their requirements for various kinds and types of energy. This is particularly the case for the least developed, low-income, energy deficient developing countries where even the basic knowledge of resource occurrence is extremely sparse and fragmentary. Compounding the problem is that developing countries have, almost without exceptions, faced considerable economic difficulties during the last few years, which have overshadowed all other developmental concerns, including energy. Also, many have lacked the financial resources necessary for a certain degree of autonomy in planning the development of the energy sector, and have also lacked the manpower resources to staff the various functions needed to support integrated energy policy-making.
Per capita commercial energy consumption in developing countries is only 2% of that of the developed world.