Fresh call for energy sector diversification
The Renewable Energy Industries Association of Malawi (Reiama) has said diversifying energy generation remains top on the list of remedies to addressing the problem of power outages the country is grappling with.
The association has since called for transparency in the sector.
In an interview, Reiama President Sosten Chigalu also called on the government to commit resources toward investing in energy generation which would help ease the existing pressure in the medium to long terms.
“There must be a serious commitment from the Central Government to push into that. Countries that have made progress have allocated resources to the energy sector. We cannot just leave it to private sector investors. It is also very important for the government to invest,” Chigalu said.
He said if production bottlenecks are addressed, the country could produce more than enough energy for both private sector operations and domestic use.
He, however, said the country has also failed to create space for industry participation in the generation of power and injecting it into the national grid.
“We have been more or less stuck with the traditional sources of energy including hydro; hydro energy generation has a least cost terms of investment and return on investment. Every investor would turn to hydro but we need other sources.
“As a country, we have been talking rather than acting. If our implementation cycle of an energy project is more than five years, the world would not stop and wait for us. We need action rather than talk,’ Chigalu said.
Last week, Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola said the government is exploring wind and solar energy sources as compliments to hydroelectric power generation.
He told delegates at an interface between Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi and private sector players that there is a need for Malawi to make more investments into alternative energy sources in a quest to deal with power supply woes.
“We agree that there is a need for proper investments and we are doing just that, but on the other hand, we need, as a country, to manage the demand and the little power that we are generating by introducing innovative ways of reducing consumption,” Matola said.