Malawi Turns To The Sun

Country Overview

The land-locked, African country of the Republic of Malawi is bordered by Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. The population of Malawi is approximately 21.15 million people.

In 2022, Malawi’s economy was ranked 135th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of raw tobacco, gold, soybeans, raw sugar, and tea.

Environmental Policies

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

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, only 14.2% of the people in Malawi had access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned utility, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Limited used renewable energy (84.5%) and refined petroleum (15.5%) to generate electricity in Malawi. Hydropower is 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 – U.S. company, Quantel Renewable Energy is continuing work on 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 in 2024.
  • 37 MW Solar Project – In March 2023, UAE solar developer, Phanes Group commissioned the Nkhotakota solar project, which is located in central Malawi.
  • 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.
  • 1.3 MW Solar + 4.5 MWh Energy Storage Project – In March 2023, Spanish solar company RIC Energy commissioned a photovoltaic solar and battery storage project which will be used for two water treatment plants in northern Malawi.

Conclusions

Malawi imports all the nation’s oil for power generation and transportation. In 2022, Malawi imported U.S. $267 Million of refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices 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 of Malawi is now turning to the sun for electricity and a brighter future.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

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