Critical review of the Malawi community energy model

Dauenhauer, P.M. and Frame, D.F.; (2016) Critical review of the Malawi community energy model. In: 2016 IEEE PES PowerAfrica. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., ZMB, pp. 78-82. ISBN 9781467399821 (

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Over the past decade, promotion of innovative models for distributed renewable energy supply in developing countries has grown considerably. International plans to meet goals of universal energy access and increased use of renewables depend on the success of these projects. This paper considers the community energy model demonstrated in the Malawi Renewable Energy Acceleration Programme (MREAP). Initial indications suggest a significant improvement in the sustainability prospects of the associated community energy projects at the cost of a higher investment in the development process. The potential of the model is clear, yet the systematic challenges to sustainability for off-grid systems in Malawi require an ongoing support mechanism for communities, ostensibly through a district energy office.


Dauenhauer, P.M. ORCID logoORCID: and Frame, D.F. ORCID logoORCID:;