Mini-Grids Information Portal on course

Blantyre, Department of Energy Affairs has started developing a web-based platform called mini-grids information portal to help stakeholders in the energy sector access information on various rural electrification projects.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Tuesday in Blantyre, Spokesperson for Energy Affairs, Saidi Banda said the development comes following the growing demand for rural electrification data from various stakeholders including investors in energy sectors.

He said the portal would therefore display sites that have already been electrified through other electrification initiatives, existing Mini-grids and also potential sites for development of Mini-grids

According to Banda, they would provide comprehensive information that would help in decision making for various stakeholders such as Policy makers, Development partners and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in developing renewable mini grids or any other rural electrification project in Malawi.

This web-based platform will contain information on the process for getting Mini-grid related licenses; opportunities for mini-grid development financing that may arise from the donor community or any other sources that will come to the knowledge of the Department; Policies and Strategies relevant to rural electrification and Mini-grid development toolkit.

The portal will also contain geographic information system (GIS) that will be designed to display data and allow users to analyze and filter information using tabs according to their specific information needs, he said.

Currently, the country has is Bondo mini grid in Mulanje which is powered by Mini-hydro power plant.

Another Mini-grid is currently in its final stage of development at Sitolo in Mchinji which will use Solar and a power source.

Usingini in Nkhatabay is in final stages of detailed designing.

The Portal is being developed by the Department of Energy Affairs under Increasing Access to Clean and Affordable Decentralized Energy Services in Selected Vulnerable Areas of Malawi Project which is jointly funded by Global Environment Facility and United Nations Development Programme.

Source: MANA Online