The Civil Society Network on Climate Change (Cisonecc) has outlined eight threats facing the country’s energy sector, which it says, if not addressed, would plunge the economy into an abyss of problems.
This comes at a time Malawi limps to its aspiration of increasing energy generation capacity to 1,000 megawatts by 2025.
In a statement issued at the end of a stakeholders’ engagement on energy situation held between September 24 and 25 in the country’s three regions, the network has singled out lack of prioritisation of the energy sector in the national budget as key among the challenges.
Other challenges, according to the statement, are misuse of the already meager resources made available to the sector through State-run institutions.
The consortium also highlights exorbitant prices for alternative sources of energy, influx of substandard renewable energy products and lack of knowledge among the citizenry on the renewable energy sector among the limiting factors to growth of the sector.
Limited access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources and impact of harsh weather conditions are also highlighted on the list.
The institute has since called on the government to consider prioritising the sector by allocating ‘adequate finances’ from the national budget, among recommendations on addressing the problem.
Figures presented show that the sector’s share of the national budget was at three percent.
“Much as Malawi can have best development agendas and energy advancement strategies, they will all require adequate resources to be implemented and achieve sustainable energy access for all targets come 2030,” reads the Cisonecc statement.
The statement further says the government must put strict measures to prevent and penalise corruption in the energy sector while promoting investment.
Cisonecc further urges the government to work towards promoting a favourable environment for establishment of min-grid.
“With less than 15 percent of the population having electricity despite being in the business for over 50 years, we believe it is time to allow independent power producers to support communities with electricity to spur economic development,” says the statement.