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Renewable energy funding

Published: 8 Oct 2016 00:01
Part of:
International

Energy access for 10,000 Malawians.

Funding of £100,000 to support improved energy access for 10,000 Malawians was announced today (Saturday 8th October) by International Development Minister Alasdair Allan.

The support for Community Energy Malawi (CEM) will mean rural communities will have continued access to electricity in schools, clinics and homes, improving education, healthcare and communication.

This funding will allow CEM, in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, to continue their support for 43 Scottish Government-funded community energy installations in 12 districts across Malawi up to the end of April 2017. It will also enable on-going training for these communities in the operation and maintenance of these systems with a view to improving their future sustainability.

Dr Allan said:

"Malawi's energy access situation is dire in global terms with only nine per cent of the population currently having access to grid electricity. This means approximately 15 million people living without electricity which is a key contributing factor to the country's continuing inability to rise out of poverty. This is why the Scottish Government has consistently supported Malawi in their efforts to improve energy access across the country.

"Between 2012 and 2015, we provided £2.3 million funding to the Malawi Renewable Energy Access Programme, which brought new energy access to nearly 80,000 rural Malawians through a range of technologies from solar powered schemes to fuel efficient cookstoves. We are also sharing Scotland's world class knowledge with a Scottish Government energy policy expert supporting the development of Malawi's first ever dedicated renewable energy strategy.

"The funding for Community Energy Malawi will allow them to continue their work of supporting community-level energy access. We know this can transform some of the poorest areas by ensuring equipped hospitals, functioning schools and thriving communities. This funding will make a big difference to Malawian communities, helping children to study in the evenings, ensuring the safe delivery of babies at night, and providing a source of energy for communities to earn an income."

Aran Eales of the Energy for Development Group within the University of Strathclyde, said:

"The University of Strathclyde is excited to have this opportunity to continue to work with Community Energy Malawi to support rural communities through the provision and maintenance of renewable energy. It's relatively straightforward to install a solar PV system with grant funding, the difficulty comes in embedding the system within a community to help them learn how to look after it, as well as maximising the social and economic benefits for all members of the community over the lifetime of the project. CEM's focus on sustainability is much needed in Malawi and their work will have wide impacts across the country's renewable energy sector."