MERA Develops Electricity Regulatory Framework

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) is developing electricity regulatory framework to provide guidelines for the generation and distribution of electricity that is supplied off the national grid.

MERA’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Collins Magalasi said the move will help to increase electricity access from five per cent to 10.7 per cent.

“Without regulating generation of mini-grids, people will be getting poor quality and unsafe electricity,” Magalasi said.

Magalasi said some rural populations and areas have connected themselves to electricity off the national grid and acknowledged that such type of electricity supplied may lack good quality and safety.

Currently, there are a number of individuals and private development partners that generate and distribute electricity off the national grid but the process is not regulated because there is no guiding framework.

According to Magalasi, the situation leaves a gap and an opportunity for the supply of electricity which is unsafe and of undesired quality.

Once completed, the mini grid framework is expected to provide a process of soliciting mini grid developers as well as requirements for approving their projects.

The framework would also provide terms and conditions for registering or licensing mini grid developers based on whether they are generating electricity for commercial or private users, according to MERA’s Director of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Welton Saiwa.

“We are coming up with this framework because of poor quality production of electricity and installation. The guidelines will also assist in monitoring and enforcing quality assurance of the of mini grids,” Saiwa said.