Overview of the Malawi energy situation and A PESTLE analysis for sustainable development of renewable energy

This paper presents an overview of the Malawi energy situation and the potential of renewable energy resources including solar, wind, biomass, hydro and geothermal. Despite a range of efforts by local and international stakeholders to increase access to modern energy sources in the country, 89 per cent of Malawi׳s energy is still sourced from traditional biomass mainly fuel wood. Only 8 per cent of the population in Malawi have access to electricity but installed capacity of electricity generation is lower than demand. This leads to load shedding by the electricity supplier; consequently electricity supply in Malawi is unreliable and micro and macroeconomic activities are significantly affected. Solar, non-traditional biomass (crop residues and forest residues not burnt on three stone fireplaces, and biogas), hydro, wind and geothermal are potential energy resources that could enhance Malawi׳s energy security. However, unreliable financing mechanisms for large scale energy projects; shortage of trained human resource; lack of coordination among local institutions; unclear regulation enforcement; and sometimes political governance impede sustainable delivery of energy projects. The Malawi energy policy targets and drivers are also discussed in the paper. Based on the prevailing energy situation, a PESTLE analysis is provided in this paper outlining a novel thinking for addressing the political (P), economic (E), social (S), technological (T), legal (L), and environmental (E) challenges that constrain the development of renewable energy technologies in Malawi.