Techno-economic analysis of PAYG productive uses of energy in Malawi

Smith, Kyle and Eales, Aran and Frame, Damien and Galloway, Stuart (2019) Techno-economic analysis of PAYG productive uses of energy in Malawi. In: IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference 2019, 2019-10-17 - 2019-10-20, Seattle, USA.

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Productive Use of Energy (PUE) is a term describing the use of energy for the delivery of a service or the process of adding value to a product. Typical PUE applications in emerging economies include: irrigation services, maize milling, refrigeration, mobile phone charging, barbershops and entertainment/communication hubs. Existing research has established that promoting PUE in rural areas of developing countries can transform local economies and reduce poverty. However, to deliver a sustainable PUE project with associated social impact requires a robust financial model and ownership structure. This paper shares research and practical experience related to the economic feasibility of rural businesses in Malawi powered by solar PV. Through this, insight into rural PUE opportunities that can become commercially viable and improve the livelihood of rural residents. Feasibility studies of PUE use cases were conducted through surveys of existing businesses to determine CAPEX, OPEX and monthly income. Results of which informed pilot projects of 5 rural businesses powered by standalone solar PV. A commercial ‘strategy’ for wide scale implementation has been considered and this is described along with future research routes to accelerate dissemination of solar PV PUE initiatives.


Smith, Kyle ORCID logoORCID:, Eales, Aran ORCID logoORCID:, Frame, Damien ORCID logoORCID: and Galloway, Stuart ORCID logoORCID:;