Salima Macro-Economic Impact

The 60MWac Salima Solar PV Project will boost Malawi’s installed capacity (currently ~395MW) by approximately 15% and will supply approximately 1,5 million people with much-needed electricity.

Malawi’s supply mix is composed primarily of run of the river hydro and supplemented by costly peaking diesel gensets (~78MW). The World Bank estimates that a kWh of electricity generated from the diesel gensets costs approximately US$0.42, whereas a kWh of electricity from the Project costs only US$0.08, representing significant cost savings if ESCOM is able to largely replace the diesel gensets with that of the electricity generated by the Project.

Malawi is also affected by seasonal drought and deteriorating equipment at many of the run of the river hydro plants. The Project will provide clean and predictable electricity in a system where forecasting electricity generation is a huge challenge.

At a community level, the Project is employing anywhere from 200-300 community members during construction and upwards of 40 to 50 people during operations. The Project is also directly benefiting upwards of 2,500 community members through socio-economic development plans, such as electrifying schools and health clinics, improving agricultural techniques, and establishing programmes for improved use/methods for water, sanitation, and hygiene.

The drivers for our focus on impact are both internal and external. From an internal perspective, a mission to accelerate social inclusion and economic and environmental sustainability is at our core, making the achievement of impact a fundamental part of what we aim to do. One of the key external drivers for increasing our intentionality in the management and measurement of impact is the growing expectation amongst our funders and other market stakeholders, particularly DFIs. The ongoing growth and developments in the impact space mean that we need to remain up to date with best practice and ensure that our own practices reflect this. The third key driver for embedding impact into the work that we do is the recognition that we carry out our work in what are largely underserved communities, which require that we are focused and proactive in the ways that we engage with these communities, ensuring that we drive impactful initiatives that are relevant, and support the growing acceptance of our work amongst a broad range of stakeholders.