By Nick Morrison
Tuesday night, 5th of March, saw an OREF talk about energy in Malawi in the St Magnus Centre, Kirkwall . This was given by Edgar Bayani and a colleague from Community Energy Malawi. ( CEM ) He was describing the situation in Malawi and the cooperation between CEM and CES ( Community Energy Scotland ). The Scottish government have given CEM a grant to progress this work.
Only 10% of the population are connected to the grid and that means unreliable candles and paraffin lamps are frequently in use, 90% of the population rely on biomass for cooking and some lighting.
The Scottish Government grant has enabled CEM to complete some 46 projects affecting 80,000 people . They are developing micro grids. A 20 kW micro grid will power the lights of a small village , heating not being required . It would also power small grain mills currently powered by diesel . In addition it would provide charging for mobile phones . Many people have to walk between five and 10 kilometres twice a week to keep their phones charged.
20 kW of power would also enable the village to install a small water pump . Currently the women of the village have the drudge walking to the river and carrying water in buckets . Using this river water exposes them to waterborne diseases . A small water pump would facilitate filtration which would remove bacteria for example .
Related post: Climate Change Collaboration: Scotland & Malawi