Graham Ault and Laura Nicolson-Community energy based approaches to environmental sustainability

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GCL Event-Environmental Sustainability in Scotland and Malawi
20th October 2011

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Graham Ault and Laura Nicolson-Community energy based approaches to environmental sustainability

  1. 1. Community Energy-based approach to Environmental Sustainability in Malawi Graham Ault – University of StrathclydeLaura Nicolson - Training and Operations Development Officer, Community Energy Scotland Global Community Links
  2. 2. Context• Energy underpins several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)• Real need for sustainable energy solutions in developing countries• More than half a billion of Africa’s rural poor rely of fuel-wood for cooking and kerosene lamps for lighting• Off-grid energy development ‘short-cuts’ grid extension• Need for demonstrated ‘sustainable models’ for off-grid energy development to address poor record of success in off-grid power• Recent Scottish Government study identifies challenges and potential in Malawi
  3. 3. Background: Malawi electrical power supply• Inadequacy of central generation installations• Grid extension requirements• Rural electrification pace and investment requirement
  4. 4. Challenges to sustainability for energy provision in rural Malawi• Major challenge of grid based rural electrification• Technology that does not meet local energy requirements• Issues with finance, knowledge, support networks and governance/accountability• Lack of consideration of whole lifecycle of installations• Under-estimation of initial and ongoing training and support requirements• Failure to understand the commercial/financial capacity of locals
  5. 5. Scottish Government Community Energy Scoping Study • Engagement with Malawian energy sector stakeholders:  MDPC, MNREE, DoEA, DoEnvAff, MERA, OIBM, Concern Universal, UNDP, MuREA, Mzuzu University, Solar Aid, LCD, MCA-Malawi • Study conclusions:  Drivers pushing energy higher up agenda in Malawi: fuel costs, climate change agenda, role of electricity in economic development  Primary aim of outworking of the policies, strategies and investment plans is development of grid generation and extension of the grid  Biomass missing from policies and investment plans when it accounts for 97% of energy use in Malawi  Institutional framework for energy development is sound but resource constrained (e.g. capacity, people, finance, lack of coordination)
  6. 6. Study conclusions cntd.• Community energy development trials underway with various technologies and approaches but in disparate and uncoordinated manner• Lack of coordination in NGO energy development activities• Climate change policy and renewable energy policy not complete and Malawi not exploiting opportunity of international frameworks (e.g. GEF, CDM, etc.)• Current situation not providing conducive framework for donor or private investment in energy Global Community Links
  7. 7. Community Energy case studies• Biomass and Solar: – Concern Univeral – Balaka Project – Sustainable forestry and efficient cook stoves• Micro hydro: – MuREA – Bondo 1 (75kW), Mulanje – Community owned and managed• Solar photovoltaic (community): – Chikwawa district – CRED project• Solar photovoltaic (domestic): – Solar Aid – northern region (and Balaka)• Biomass / biogas: – Mzuzu university trials – 11 installations based on waste Global Community Links
  8. 8. Scoping Study Recommendations• Support for energy in Malawi should fit in with Malawian government plans and priorities• Interventions should be based on and/or facilitate cross-departmental and multi-stakeholder working within Malawi• Addressing biomass burning has clear potential to bring about the highest impact and the most pro-poor outcomes• External support should not be given for ‘one-off investments’ that have a primary focus on simply deploying renewable technologies• Community energy developments must be: – community driven – ‘commercially’ based – grant and loan funded – certified in line with MERA requirements – supported through appropriate mechanisms – other criteria might include: national M&E participation, income generation, equitable participation and benefit• Development and trial activities should be led by Malawian organisations
  9. 9. Community Development in Malawi Community Structures Village structures {Traditional Authorities} District Committee {Subject based working groups} Government Global Community Links
  10. 10. Community Energy Support Model Scotland Primary Secondary Network Lobbying Policy Influence Global Community Links
  11. 11. Community Energy Support Model Scotland Primary Secondary Network Lobbying Policy Influence Global Community Links
  12. 12. Community Energy Support Model Scotland Primary Secondary Network Lobbying Policy Influence Global Community Links
  13. 13. Community Energy Support Model Scotland Primary Secondary Network Lobbying Policy Influence Global Community Links
  14. 14. Community Energy Support Model Malawi Scottish Government scoping study Recommendations Global Community Links
  15. 15. Community Energy Support Model Malawi Community Energy Projects Database of community-scale energy project in Malawi Global Community Links
  16. 16. Community Energy Support Model Malawi Knowledge transfer Toolkits / Media Visits Conferences Local officers Appropriate delivery methods? Global Community Links
  17. 17. Community Energy Support Model Malawi Building support networks A Community Energy Network in Malawi Community Energy Malawi? Global Community Links
  18. 18. Conclusions• Serious challenges faced for sustainable energy development• Partnerships built for productive Scotland-Malawi programmes• Community support mechanisms required• Opportunity to accelerate the development of community energy Global Community Links

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