Geothermal: Solution for Africa Energy Needs!

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Malawi Geothermal Development

Malawi, has major electricity generating difficulties, due to limited conventional fossil fuel resources and an over reliance on one form of electricity generation, viz. hydroelectricity, with very low generation capacity. Due to its location within the East African Rift System (EARS), one of the hottest geothermal zones in the world, it is endowed with significant potential geothermal energy resources. In recent decades, there has been major global growth in geothermal energy utilization, both in direct utilization applications and in electricity generation. However, despite its favourable location, Malawi has been slow in harnessing its potentially significant geothermal resources.

Major challenges hindering geothermal development in Malawi have been the absence of both technical and financial capacity, and the lack of government leadership in spearheading an assessment of the geothermal resources of the country. This has resulted in a spirit of individualism, coupled with an absence of collaborative cooperation between government agencies, research organisations and institutes of higher learning, which has led to a failure to share information, consequent duplication of tasks and unnecessary waste of resources. The Government of Malawi claims to have instituted a geothermal working group, consisting of all the stakeholders from government, industry, research organisations and teaching institutions which seems to be non- existent due to its non-functionality.

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