Malawi Turns To The Sun

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Malawi is approximately 20.23 million people[1]. In 2020, only 14.87% of the people in this southeast African country had access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Malawi’s economy was ranked 146th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of raw tobacco, raw sugar, tea, legumes, gold, and ground nuts.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Malawi signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to a series of actions designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 47%, compared to a business-as-usual case.

In 2020, the state-owned electric company, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited (ESCOM) had a total installed power capacity of approximately 304 MW[6].

In 2020, ESCOM used renewable energy (86.2 %) and oil (18.8 %) to generate electricity in Malawi[7]. Hydropower was the dominate type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Malawi.

Recent renewable energy projects in Malawi include:

  • 60 MW Solar Project – In November 2021, the US Aid agency, Power Africa commissioned the Salima solar project, which is located in central Malawi.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – February 2022, U.S. power company, Quantel Renewable Energy commenced construction of the Bwengu Solar PV Power Plant at a site approximately 200 miles north of the nation’s capital, Lilongwe. The project is forecast to be commissioned by June 2023.
  • 37 MW Solar Project – UAE solar developer, Phanes Group is continuing work on the Nkhotakota solar project, which is located in central Malawi. The project is forecast to be commissioned by June 2023.
  • 20 MW Solar + 10 MWh Energy Storage Project – In May 2022, British infrastructure development group, InfraCo Africa Limited commissioned the Golomoti solar project at a site approximately 50 miles southeast of Lilongwe.


Malawi imports all the nation’s oil for power generation and transportation. In 2020, Malawi spent[8] U.S. $187 Million for refined petroleum imports.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the United States, Canada, and the European Union placing embargos on Russian exports. As a result, the international price for crude oil increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Malawi is rich in undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, wind, and biomass. The nation’s significant renewable energy resources could provide electricity to everyone in Malawi.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. International aide organizations are providing Malawi financial resources to develop solar projects across this beautiful African country for electricity.

Malawi is turning to the sun for electricity and a brighter future.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.


[1] Malawi Population (2022) –  September 28, 2022,

[2] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Malawi

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC – Malawi

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Institute of Developing Economies Japan External Trade Organization – Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited

[7] Our World In Data, Malawi: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[8] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Malawi Imports

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