Ministry of Energy says the country needs 618 megawatts (MW) to power industries and households without load-shedding.
Malawi is facing power deficit following the damage of 130MW Kapichira Hydro Power Station in January this year.
In a written response on Monday, Ministry of Energy spokesperson Upile Kamoto said the projected demand of 618MW is against the current Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Limited installed capacity of 539MW.
She said: “In order to meet this demand, it requires intensive investment in firm power.
“This means constructing power plants that operate continuously to meet the minimum level of power demand 24/7.”
Kamoto said the Ministry of Energy is currently reviewing the Integrated Resource Plan to determine power needs and align with the MW2063, the country’s long-term development strategy.
She said the other plan is to commission 21MW in Nkhotakota this year.
Kamoto said the ministry commissioned a study to find the least cost option for replacing diesel generators, which found solar PV and battery energy storage system is the least option.
She said: “Several sites for battery energy storage system of more than 60MW, which government with support from Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, will invite private players to develop in the short-term as we wait for 110MW from the Mozambique-Malawi interconnector.”
Speaking last week in Dedza when he commissioned the $33 million (about K33.1 billion) 20MW JCM Golomoti Solar Power Plant, President Lazarus Chakwera said he decommissioned the wasteful generators that Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) hired because Malawians deserve an energy programme that belongs to a sustainable future.
“Malawians deserve an energy programme that aligns with our nationally determined goal of reducing greenhouse emissions by 51 percent by 2040,” he said.
Meanwhile, Escom spokesperson Kitty Chingota said four Independent Power Producers are now operational and have added 92MW to the country’s national power grid.
The IPPs are JCM’s Salima Solar Power Project, which has added 60MW and Golomoti Solar Project with 20MW, Mulanje Hydro Limited Ruo/Ndiza Hydro Project with 8.2MW and Cedar Energy Limited’s hydro with 3.06MW.
The Power Demand Forecast of the Integrated Resource Plan 2018 indicates that the demand for electricity was projected to increase to 800MW, 1 200MW and 2 500MW by 2020, 2025 and 2035 in that order.