Energy mix key to ending power woes, says expert

Zambia-based Kafue Gorge regional training centre director Engineer Kaela Kennedy Siame has advised Malawi to look beyond hydropower and explore other energy sources.

He said the energy mix is key to addressing present power supply and production.

Speaking on the sidelines of a day-long tour of Tedzani Hydropower Station in Neno on Thursday, Siame, who heads the institution established to provide skills for the energy sector, said Malawi has areas that it could utilise for the energy mix.

Malawi heavily relies on hydropower generation

“Malawi has a lot of endowed wind and if assessments were done, they could justify the need for Malawi to invest in wind energy. Other than that, the country is also endowed with sun and renewable energy from solar which could also contribute towards our only dependence on hydropower,” he said.

Siame said without having to completely dump hydropower, Malawi would be able to reduce on the impact that too much usage of water would produce.

Having noted ongoing projects in the energy sector by Energy Generation Company (Egenco), he  noted that the projects are testimony of the need for the country to continuously invest in the energy sector.

“There is plenty of water which is flowing and us as technocrats, we see it as a wastage of energy. But having seen efforts by Egenco notably construction of Tedzani IV, we see this improving electricity generation,” said Siame.

Egenco chief executive officer William Liabunya said the firm is exploring diversification of energy sources.

“As stipulated in our 15-year strategic plan, our main drive is to look at alternative sources of electricity. Presently, we have embarked on solar project and we are also embarking on a coal project,” he said.

Malawi and other countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region are facing power supply challenges.

In Malawi, electricity penetration is at a paltry 10 percent out of 17.5 million people.

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