Energy needs assessment of Malawi's health sector

Empowering health services

COVID-19 testing supplies at Mangochi District Hospital
UNICEF Malawi/2020/Simwaka


  • This report summarizes the results of an energy assessment conducted of 39 healthcare facilities across Malawi in 2018 to gauge how renewable energy systems are currently being managed to meet user ends and deliver reliable energy services.
  • The energy needs assessment (ENA) examined the typical electrical requirements of different categories of health facilities (tertiary, secondary, and primary health facilities, including community outreach) to meet present needs as well as projected future needs based on the Government of Malawi’s Health Sector Masterplan (2017-2022).
  • The ENA also reviewed the performance of solar PV systems, the installation and maintenance standards of either partial or full solar PV systems in healthcare settings, and patterns of energy use across different types of health facilities and within these facilities.
  • The objectives of the ENA were to identify requirements to make current and future installations sustainable and deliver efficient energy services, inclusive of appropriate internal supply distribution.
  • While the assessment confirmed that off-grid renewable energy systems provide critical services where the grid cannot reach, findings also point to structural shortcomings in multiple areas which are highlighted in the report.
  • The technical report further highlights ten core recommendations to improve the deployment of renewable energy in Malawi’s health sector, coupled with several additional suggestions to improve access to reliable energy across health facilities.
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