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Technical sustainability of solar PV institutions : results from a field survey of 43 sites in Malawi

Dauenhauer, Peter and Frame, Damien and Strachan, Scott (2015) Technical sustainability of solar PV institutions : results from a field survey of 43 sites in Malawi. In: 4th Symposium Small PV-Applications 2015. OTTI, pp. 116-121.

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With grid connection rates in Malawi at 9% (5% for rural population) and 87% of primary schools lacking electricity, future connection for a significant share of the remaining schools through off-grid means is a plausible scenario. However, sustainability of off-grid community energy projects at public institutions in Malawi has historically been described as poor. Existing knowledge is largely anecdotal and quantitative data of any sort for off-grid installations is lacking. Efforts to document project existence and what has been effective have mildly improved recently, but this has not included in-depth sustainability analysis . Despite these efforts, it is thought that many more systems and their performance go undocumented. Thus, in 2014 a study was funded by the Scottish Government within the MREAP programme to capture sustainability factors for 43 off-grid solar PV projects at public institutions dispersed throughout Malawi.