Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has advised consumers to look at other renewable energy sources as permanent solutions not fall-back options.
Speaking on Friday in Blantyre at a stakeholder’s sensitisation workshop on renewable energy supply, products quality monitoring and enforcement, Mera director of electricity and renewable energy Welton Saiwa urged consumers to stop using sub-standard products and engaging uncertified installers that are stifling the industry.
He said findings from their recent inspections indicate that majority of the imported renewable energy products do not comply with standards.
Saiwa said while renewable energy sources such as solar, biomass, geothermal and wind seems like fall-back options to hydro power, they are permanent solutions as long as designers, procurers and installers of such systems conform to standards.
“We have a big problem with designs and procurement of renewable energy systems at the moment as people think they are weaker energy sources.
“As the country’s energy sector continues to face challenges with hydropower in the face of climate change and siltation, it is pertinent that consumers engage renewable energy installers who are competent and can ensure sustainable performance of the systems,” he said.
Consumers are currently experiencing prolonged power outages as Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is only supplying 200 megawatts due to lower water levels in Shire river, where 90 percent of hydropower is generated.
In an interview Global Solar managing director Andrew Nkoloma, who represented Renewable Energy Industries Association of Malawi at the event, said the industry is facing many challenges due to sub-standards systems.
He said the country has relied on a single source of energy for a long time, but technologies such as biogas, wind and solar are the future of energy for the country.