Opportunities and challenges for eCooking on mini-grids in Malawi : case study insight

Frame, Damien and Eales, Aran and Galloway, Stuart and Keddar, Shafiqa and Richter, Annika and Kloser, Daniel; (2022) Opportunities and challenges for eCooking on mini-grids in Malawi : case study insight. In: 2022 IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica. IEEE, RWA. ISBN 9781665466394 (https://doi.org/10.1109/PowerAfrica53997.2022.9905...)

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Mini-grids are the least cost electrification option for over 30% of Malawi's population, however mini-grid financial sustainability is often compromised due to underutilised generation. Electric cooking is increasing in prominence globally and offers a low carbon alternative to biomass. Powering eCook devices on mini-grids in Malawi has the potential to improve mini-grid profitability while offering environmental and social benefits. This study explores this opportunity drawing on pilot case study data from mini-grid powered eCook devices gathered through smart meters and social impact surveys. Technical analysis presents statistical load profiles compared to modelled profiles, indicating lower eCook demand from measured profiles and likelihood of fuel stacking. Analysis is utilised to investigate opportunities and challenges for mini-grid eCooking in Malawi through technical and economic lenses, including potential impact of carbon credits on financial models. Recommendations given to accelerate mini-grid eCooking in Malawi include demand side management, smart cooking subsidies, and further data analysis.