2023 National Energy Conference: Energy diversification for sustainable development
October 26 @ 9:00 am - October 27 @ 5:00 pm
Venue: Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Hotel, Salima District, Malawi
Malawi is currently facing significant challenges in its energy sector, particularly in terms of energy availability, accessibility, mix, security and sufficiency. With approximately more than 80% of the population lacking access to energy, development efforts are undermined considering that energy is a catalyst for sustainable development. Furthermore, about 70% of Malawi’s energy comes from hydro sources with production centralised on the Shire River in southern Malawi.
Consequently, the country is heavily dependent on a single energy source leading to vulnerability. In order to help in addressing these issues, the Renewable Energy Industries Association of Malawi (REIAMA), in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Development Partners, aims to organise the 2023 National Energy Conference. This conference is a successor to another successful conference held in 2022, themed “Energy – Catalyst for Sustainable Development.”
2. CONFERENCE THEME:
The theme for the 2023 National Energy Conference is “Energy Diversification for Sustainable Development.” Building upon the successes and outcomes of the previous conference, the event will focus on the exploration of various energy sources, financing options, regulatory frameworks, investment possibilities, and the perception of the population towards adopting different energy sources. Furthermore, the conference will aim at exploring spreading the energy generation sites to mitigate the risk exposure of having a centralised generation sites.
The main objectives of the conference are as follows:
3.1 Contribute positively towards the achievement of key energy-related policies and strategies, including MIP-1 Malawi 2063, the National Energy Policy 2018, Malawi National Electrification Strategy and Action Plan 2019, Malawi Renewable Energy Strategy 2017, and UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7).
3.2 Engage stakeholders in the energy sector to discuss and address the critical issues facing Malawi’s energy mix, security, sufficiency, and accessibility
3.3 Foster dialogue and collaboration among government entities, development partners, statutory bodies, NGOs, investors, and other relevant stakeholders involved in the energy sector.
3.4 Promote the diversification of energy sources and generation sites in Malawi and explore the potential of various renewable energy options to enhance energy sufficiency and sustainability.
3.5 Identify financing opportunities and mechanisms to support the development and implementation of a diverse energy mix programmes and investments in Malawi.
3.6 Assess and address the regulatory environment to create an enabling framework for the adoption of different energy sources.
3.7 Explore investment opportunities and challenges in the energy sector to attract local and international investors to contribute to the energy development goals of Malawi.
4. KEY THEMES AND SUB-TOPICS:
The conference will focus on the following key themes:
4.1 Diversification of Energy Sources:
4.1.1 Assessing ways of diversifying energy sources to achieve energy access among various users.
4.1.2 Assessing Malawi’s current energy mix and its limitations.
4.1.3 Exploring the potential of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and nuclear.
4.1.4 Promoting the development and utilisation of decentralised renewable energy systems for homes, economic activities, and institutions.
4.1.5 Addressing technical and infrastructural challenges associated with the integration of different energy sources.
4.1.6 Perception of the population towards adopting different energy sources.
4.1.7 Contribute to the discussion of public awareness and understanding of renewable energy options.
4.1.8 Help in identifying barriers and drivers for public acceptance and adoption of different energy sources.
4.1.9 Contribute to the development of strategies for public engagement and education on sustainable energy solutions.
4.1.10 Help in identifying and addressing social and cultural considerations related to the adoption of diverse energy sources.
4.1.11 Assess progress in clean cooking technologies such as electric stoves, LPG, and biogas, improved cookstoves/mbaula
4.2 Regulatory Environment:
4.2.1 Contribute to the review of the existing regulatory framework for the energy sector.
4.2.2 Identifying barriers and challenges in the regulatory environment for the adoption of diverse energy sources.
4.2.3 Discuss policy and regulatory reforms required to promote energy diversification and sufficiency.
4.2.4 Enhancing coordination and cooperation among regulatory bodies, government agencies, and stakeholders.
4.3 Investment and Finance for Different Energy Sources
4.3.1 Showcasing investment opportunities in Malawi’s energy sector.
4.3.2 Highlighting successful energy projects and case studies.
4.3.3 Facilitating networking and matchmaking between investors and project developers.
4.3.4 Exploring mechanisms to attract both local and international investments in the energy sector.
4.3.5 Identifying funding opportunities and mechanisms to support the diversification of the energy mix.
4.3.6 Assessing the economic viability and cost-effectiveness of different energy sources.
4.3.7 Exploring the possibility of carbon credits trading, shares and reinvestments
4.3.8 Exploring public-private partnerships and international cooperation for sustainable energy financing.
4.3.9 Exploring innovative financing models and investment frameworks for renewable energy projects.
5. CONFERENCE STRUCTURE, ACTIVITIES AND PARTICIPANTS:
The conference will feature a combination of plenary sessions, panel discussions, workshops, technical presentations, and exhibitions. It will provide a platform for stakeholders to share experiences, exchange knowledge, and forge partnerships.
a) Plenary Sessions:
Keynote speeches and presentations by distinguished experts and policymakers will provide an overview of the energy sector, challenges, and opportunities related to energy diversification and sufficiency. It is expected that the Guest of Honour will be the Minister of Energy. Plenary sessions will set the tone for in-depth discussions and provide a common understanding of the conference objectives.
b) Panel Discussions:
Thematic panel discussions will bring together experts, practitioners, and stakeholders to delve deeper into each key theme. These interactive sessions will encourage knowledge sharing, exchange of best practices, identification of challenges, and formulation of actionable recommendations.
An exhibition area will showcase innovative products, technologies, and solutions related to energy diversification and sufficiency. This platform will allow participants to explore cutting-edge technologies, network with industry professionals, and facilitate business partnerships.
Additionally, it will include networking opportunities to facilitate collaborations and encourage investment in the energy sector.
The participants for the conference will include government agencies, private sector, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), academia/researchers, development partners, innovators, media, and individuals. The conference will be delivered in hybrid format i.e., physical and online attendance. The target number of physical participants will be 250 delegates.
The conference days are the Thursday and Friday of the 26th and 27th of October 2023. Guests are encouraged to arrive on the 25th of October so that the programmes start in time the following the day. The conference is scheduled to take place at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Hotel in Salima District, Malawi. Sunbird Livingstonia Beach is 120km and 2 hours drive from Lilongwe, the Capital of Malawi.
On 26th October, REIAMA members shall have an annual general meeting from 3:30PM to 5:00PM.
On the same day, there shall be a cocktail and an award ceremony. On 27th October, there will be a corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity as well as games and fun activities in the afternoon. Members will have the option to participate in CSR or the games.
6. EXPECTED OUTCOMES:
The conference outcomes will include some of the following:
6.1 Enhanced understanding of the importance of energy diversification and sufficiency for sustainable development.
6.2 Identification of actionable strategies and recommendations to overcome challenges related to the energy mix in Malawi.
6.3 Increased awareness and commitment towards adopting renewable energy sources.
6.4 Strengthened collaboration between stakeholders and improved coordination in the energy sector.
6.5 Identification of financing opportunities and partnerships for sustainable energy projects.
6.6 Increased investment in the energy sector, promoting economic growth and job creation.
6.7 Development of an action plan for the implementation of conference recommendations.
7. BUDGET FOR THE CONFERENCE:
The conference participation fees are K400,000 for REIAMA paid up members and K470,000 for other delegates. Delegates will provide for their own accommodation and transport logistics. The conference budget is estimated at MKW 92,000,000.00.
REIAMA is organising the all-inclusive 2023 National Energy Conference on Energy Diversification for Sustainable Development, to contribute to the achievement of both medium and long-term goals of the Malawi nation, aligned with national policies, strategies, and international sustainable development targets.