Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, with a rapidly growing population and an interesting energy supply.
Although over 70% of Malawi’s electricity comes from hydropower, just 12% of the population had access to electricity in 2018. So, if it is to meet its goal of achieving 100% electrification by 2030, Malawi needs even more power — and from more productive sources.
This is where solar comes in.
With some of the world’s highest irradiation levels, Malawi can generate a huge amount of solar power and gain a reliable national electricity supply if sufficient PV infrastructure is developed.
The country does provide some support for those looking to implement their own PV systems, as solar products are free from import duties in Malawi, but the vast majority of PV capacity will be built from private investments in large-scale plants.
In February 2022, US-based independent power producer (IPP) Quantel Renewable Energy began on a 50MW solar park in Ulalo Nyirenda village. The project aims to bring Malawi closer to its renewable energy goals and provide affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to its population.
Later on in 2022, in June, the Blantyre Water Board (BWB) agreed to the development of a 30MW solar plant with Indian firm TATA, with plans for the installation to be adding at least 1000MW of electricity for the national grid by 2025.
Just a month after this, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) guaranteed the development, construction and operation of a new 20MW solar plant which sets out to reduce carbon emissions by 45,000 tonnes over its lifetime.
Since the start of 2023, RIC Energy has finished building a 1.3MW PV array and 4.5MWh battery system for two water treatment plants and five water pumping stations in Mzuzu — finishing a hybrid system that will have an annual power output of 2.2GWh and treat enough water to supply more than 200,000 Malawian people.
SegenSolar is keen to foster the development of additional small and large-scale PV installations across Malawi. If you are a homeowner, you can get in touch for more details about our work. If you are an installer, you can explore our range on the portal — just log in or sign up for a free account.