The mushrooming of off-grid power systems has jolted government to step in and start training innovators on how they can make mini-grids safer and more efficient.
The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining is working in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to equip innovative minds with skills to develop better off-grid systems, said chief director of energy affairs Chimwemwe Banda.
Mini-grids, like the one established by Corled Nkosi installed in his rural parts of Mzimba, are mostly emerging in areas not connected to Electricity Corporation of Malawi (Escom) power lines.
According to Banda, improved mini-grids will reduce the number of households relying on the national grid typified by frequent blackouts.
She said: “We have seen young minds coming up with power supply in Mzimba, Nkhata Bay, Rumphi, Mulanje and Mchinji to benefit communities.
“The ministry has an open-door policy for such innovations. But we recognise that if this power is not well secured, it can be dangerous. The project wants to give these innovative minds skills to do better.”
Banda said this when she closed a five-day training in renewable energy organised by Mzuzu University (Mzuni) on Friday.
According to Mzuni Test and Training Centre for Renewable Energy Technologies coordinator Maxon Chitawo, the university aimed to equip renewable energy enthusiasts with skills in planning, designing and installing energy projects. n