How has hydropower performed in Malawi? How could climate change impact on existing and planned hydropower generation in the country?
This case study draws on a literature review and in-country stakeholder
consultations to understand the issues surrounding hydropower
performance and development in Malawi. The report includes sections on
the case study context, systematic mapping of water-energy-food systems,
hydropower performance and its influencing factors, and identifies
interventions for increasing the positive impacts of hydropower schemes
on water, energy and food security.
The case study found that existing run-of-river schemes have supported
the country’s development, but there is now an urgent need to improve
both access to electricity and the amount of electricity available.
Hydropower could provide part of the solution at different scales from
national to local, but the country faces a wide range of complex water,
energy and food security challenges and particularly in the context of
climate change. Storage-type hydropower schemes and community hydropower
could increase access and provide additional benefits, while
rehabilitation and upgrade of existing schemes and a link to the
Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) could provide sufficient electricity
to support further national development.
Interventions identified which could help maximise the water, energy and
food security benefits from Malawi’s hydropower potential were:
- Expand the small off-grid hydropower sector.
- Harmonise national Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements
with those of international funding agencies.
- Develop national compensation standards for involuntary displacement.
- Research and develop payments for ecosystem services approach.
- Promote soil and water conservation practices.
This report has been produced for Evidence on Demand by HR Wallingford
with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development
(DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and
Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL
PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE
Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited. It was produced for DFID’s
Adaptation Knowledge and Tools programme.
Hurford, A.P.; Wade, S.D.; Winpenny, J. Malawi case study: Harnessing hydropower. Evidence on Demand, UK (2014) vii + 68 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_cr.september2014.hurfordaetal04]