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Energy and water needs analysis: towards solar photovoltaic water pumping in rural areas of Malawi

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journal contribution
posted on 03.03.2020, 14:17 by Esther Phiri, Ansley Kasambara, Paul Rowley, Richard Blanchard
Water and energy are both major challenges in rural areas of developing countries, including in the sub-Saharan Africa Region. This study assessed water and energy needs, challenges, and costs in order to produce a body of knowledge and further explore ways in which the water-energy synergies could be utilised. A mixed-mode survey method consisting of questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, observations and focus group discussions involving participants in the rural areas of Chiradzulu District in Malawi was employed. The study findings show that water access is generally inadequate, caused by high population, low yield, disparity in the distribution of water sources, and non-functionality. Using the contingent valuation method, logistic regression showed the only predictor of willingness to pay for drinking water was income and the predictors to pay for irrigation water were occupation, age and household size. Sustainable energy access was also found lacking for cooking and basic energy services such as for lighting, mobile charging and for radios. Biomass remains the main source of cooking energy, whereas battery powered torches have replaced paraffin for lighting. Overall, the household survey results imply that there is need for more sustainable water and energy provision. To address both challenges, the study recommends solar PV water pumping systems which can be designed in such a way that they can be simultaneously used for providing basic energy services. Further research is needed to address cooking energy choices.

Funding

The University of Malawi Research and Publications Committee

History

School

  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research Unit

  • Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

Published in

Journal of Sustainability Research

Volume

2

Issue

2

Publisher

Hapres

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

This is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Acceptance date

26/02/2020

Publication date

2020-03-03

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

2632-6582

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Richard Blanchard. Deposit date: 3 March 2020

Article number

e200013