The ISA Countries section of ISA InfoPedia comprises country-specific pages where ISA Members provide information on news, policies, best practices, tenders etc. Country-specific information

ISA Infopedia

ISA Countries Catalogue

The ISA Countries section of ISA InfoPedia comprises country-specific pages where ISA Members provide information on news, policies, best practices, tenders etc.

Republic of Malawi

0.023 GW

Malawi is an English-speaking landlocked country located in southeastern Africa with an area of about 118,484 km2 and a population of 17.6 million. Lilongwe City in central Malawi is the capital. This lower income country is reliant on agriculture for one-third of its GDP and 80% of export revenues.

Malawi is reliant on biomass and hydropower for its energy needs. Only 11 % of Malawi's population is connected to the main electricity grid. However, the Government is committed to increasing access to electricity through the utilization of renewable technologies as stipulated in the National Energy Policy 2018 and Malawi Renewable Energy Strategy 2017. The target is to reach universal access to electricity by 2030 of which 30% is expected to be achieved through extension of the Main grid. Off-grid solutions will be needed to address the 70 % access gap to achieve universal energy access over this period.

According to the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), Malawi has good solar potential and receives an average daily insolation of 5kWh/m2, which is significantly uniform throughout the year.

In 2018, the Government of Malawi implemented the country's first competitive tender in the power sector and 21 international companies submitted bids to develop 70 MW of grid-connected solar capacity. Additionally, the Government of Japan helped the Government of Malawi to construct an 830kW grid-connected solar PV project at the Kamuzu International Airport. Malawi's first Independent Power Producer (IPP) scheme and one of the first commercial-scale solar PV plants, the 60 MW Salima solar project in central Malawi has started construction. The Salima solar park will use 230,000 PV panels that are expected to start feeding electricity to Malawi’s grid by the end of 2019. It will operate under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi Ltd (ESCOM). In February 2019, the Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (EGENCO) sought expressions of interest for the expansion of the Salima plant with the construction of another 10 MW PV system in Malawi's Central region. A 20 MW solar project is also being developed in Golomoti in southeastern Malawi, regarded as the sister project for the Salima plant. The plant in Golomoti will sell power to ESCOM under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Both projects are partnerships of InfriCo Africa and a development fund.

With the aim of increasing off-grid access to energy in the country, UNDP is supporting development of renewable energy mini-grids in the country. So far, Bondo minigrid has been upgraded from the 80 kW to 220 kW in Mulanje District in southern part of the country and a Solar minigrid with a capacity of 80 kW was commissioned in August 2019 in Mchinji District in the central part of the country. The Government of Malawi, with financial support from UNDP, is supporting development of additional three hydro-based minigrids in the northern part of the Country.  USAID is also supporting the government on the USAID – Power Africa Solar Home System (SHS) Kickstarter Program aimed at stimulating the solar market over 2019-2021. As part of the program, USAID will provide a USD 1.5 million Results Based Financing Grant Facility to facilitate the sale of 150,000 new SHS off-grid connections. Other components of the program entail access to working capital from local financial institutions, operational technical assistance to SHS companies, a solar awareness campaign for consumers, and policy and regulatory reform initiatives including strengthening fiscal incentives and support like VAT and duty exemptions.

Currently, fiscal incentives include import duty exemptions for renewable electricity equipment, such as energy saver bulbs, solar batteries, solar battery chargers, energy lamps, generators and inverters though there is a VAT of 16.5 %. However, in the 2019 – 2020 fiscal budget there is a VAT removal on solar products – a thing that is waiting Parliament approval.



NFP Details: 

Mr. Joseph Kalowekamo

Deputy Director

Department of Energy Affairs 

Private Bag 309, Lilongwe 3, Malawi

Tel: +265 1771954 +265 999483260


Photovoltaic Map: 
Global Horizontal Irradiation Map: 
Direct Normal Irradiation Map: 
Legal/Regulatory Document

Malawi Renewable Energy Strategy 2017

The Strategy sets out a detailed set of priorities and actions to achieve universal access to renewable electricity

Legal/Regulatory Document

National Energy Policy 2018

Revision of the 2003 Policy for implementation of energy interventions

Legal/Regulatory Document

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA)Strategic Plan 2014-2018

The Plan is necessary to guide the activities of MERA over the four fiscal years period as it seeks to contribute to Malawi Government’s development agenda, which identifies energy as a strategic sector that should be managed in a manner that facilitates economic development. The Plan will also serve as an instrument for focusing on priority areas requiring the attention of MERA


Solar GIS

Website for solar resource of Malawi


IRENA RE Resource

IRENA website for renewable energy resource in Malawi


Website with Tenders

Active tenders for solar projects with Blantyre Water Board