Energyscaping is being conducted by the EASE DEOs in Dedza and Balaka. The aim is to map energy issues in the district to support local planning processes and help mobilize and direct resources.
Using an online survey platform, the energyscaping activities have been ramping up in recent months with data being collected on the energy needs related to water supply, agriculture, and education and health facilities.
The majority of surveys so far have been conducted at school facilities. From one hundred and one schools, fourteen had a connection to the ESCOM national grid and twenty six had some kind of solar electricity. Satisfaction with either was low. For ESCOM connections, dissatisfaction was due to poor reliability (black outs) and cost. For Solar systems, dissatisfaction was due to poor reliability (approximately 40% were not operational) and system limitation (only supporting a few rooms and/or lighting only).
Thirty six health centres have been surveyed so far, mostly in Dedza. A similar picture is emerging regarding lack of access and dissatisfaction with the limited access that is present.
With the data collection process established, the energyscaping database will be enhanced over the coming months and an online interface developed to allow public access. The EASE DEO activities are designed to help inform the Ministry of Energy as they look to the national roll out of DEOs as per current policy. The energyscaping pilot will provide learning on the role of this type of data alongside data on grid expansion and minigrid feasibility when applied to local energy planning.