In Malawi, the government has launched the project "2 million improved cookstoves" by 2020. These will enable women to cook sustainably using biogas technology. The country aims to achieve universal access to clean energy for all by 2030.
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In Malawi, biomass accounts for 89 per cent of the energy mix, with households consuming the bulk of this energy. The country’s forests are paying a heavy price. The annual deforestation rate now stands at 2.3 per cent. To solve this problem, the government is exploring biogas. To this end, it has recently launched the project “2 million improved stoves” by 2020. “There is a lot of human and animal waste that can be used to produce electricity and biogas for cooking in Malawi. With biogas technology, there will be enough gas for cooking, refrigeration, water heating, lighting and electricity generators. So the country should not continue to rely heavily on firewood for cooking,” says Andrew Mkoloma, president of Malawi’s Renewable Energy Industry.
Biogas stoves will enable women to cook in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. Among other things, they will consist of a pottery structure. This will be made from locally sourced clay. Malawi is thus striving to achieve universal access to clean and sustainable energy for all by 2030.
Biogas is back in Malawi
Biogas technology is not new. It is one of the oldest clean energy technologies. It has long been neglected by Malawians. “There wasn’t a lot of support from those who practiced it. There was no political will and no experts to help promote the industry. So the systems that allowed the biogas technology to be installed stopped working,” says Mkoloma.
To raise awareness, Friends of Cleaner Cooking and the National Cooking Stove Steering Committee (NCSC), in collaboration with the Department of Energy Affairs of Malawi’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines, recently held the annual Cleaner Cooking Course in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, to increase efforts to promote clean energy cooking.
In addition, Malawi’s Renewable Energy Industry is planning to bring in experts from abroad to install the biogas production system in the country.