The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Minning has said Malawi is targeting to connect 50 percent of the population with electricity by 2030.
Currently, only 10 percent of the population has access to electricity.
Speaking in Lilongwe on the sidelines of the launch of the National Energy Policy, Energy Minister, Bintony Kutsaira, said the plan while overambitious, is achievable.
He said what Malawians need to do is to change their mindset and start believing that Malawi can achieve the plan.
“As we are all aware, the demand for electricity in the country far exceeds the installed capacity a thing that calls for increased generation capacity. To close this gap the new policy is promoting use of diversified sources of energy expected to lessen over-reliance on hydropower technology currently done on one river.
“Poor transmission and distribution network characterised by huge losses will be dealt with after successful implementation of this policy. Inadequate financing, which adds to the list of the challenges the power industry in Malawi is facing, will be addressed with successful use of the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Framework,” Kuntsaira said.
He added that the 2003 National Energy Policy had outlived its life span in perspective of numerous international and national developments in the energy sector hence the new policy.
UNDP Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara, hailed Malawi for launching the policy which, he said, would help improve the energy situation in the country.
World Bank Energy Specialist, Paul Mukiibi, said the bank is committed to working together with the Malawi Government in improving access to energy in the country.
Among others, the new policy proposes the establishment of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and placement of energy officers in the districts.
According to the Malawi Sustainable Energy Investment Study Report, $2.5 billion is needed in the power sector in the country to achieve Sustainable Development Goal Number 7 which is the international community’s commitment to provide universal access to modern, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy for all by 2030.
The investment represents a tripling of generation capacity to 1,200 megawatts while adding 1.2 million new grid connections.
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