Suppressed Demand Rural Electrification Project
Chanansi Foundation has been implementing the Gold Standard micro-scale suppressed demand off-grid rural electrification (energisation) for households/villages methodology in a LDC with a Malawi site as illustrative example.
The aim of the project is supply electricity in rural areas to individual households or villages without electricity from the grid. The potential project is not located close to any larger grid, so it is not expected that they can be connected to this in the nearest future. The households or villages have at this stage electricity supply from diesel generators, but only few hours every day. Some households or villages have no electricity supply at all and this electricity from batteries from time to time.
Sub Saharan Africa including Malawi has a growing need for energy services, but due to poverty or lack of infrastructure these needs are not satisfied. According to the World Energy Outlook (EIA 2009) more than 550 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are currently without electricity access. Many who are connected to the grid can only afford minimal amounts of electricity. This unfulfilled demand for energy services is commonly known as “suppressed demand” (SD).
The concept of Suppressed Demand entered the climate policy debate at COP 7 in Marrakech 2001. The idea of applying Suppressed demand had emerged from African energy academics who had identified the shortfall in modern energy supply infrastructure of limiting development in Africa and calling for large scale investment in the supply side as a driver of development.
The Situation of Energy use in Malawi
Although kerosene (kerosene) is a rarely used source of cooking fuel in the country, the situation is different when it comes to lighting. Kerosene is the most common source of lighting fuel, registering about 84 percent of all the households in the country. Rural areas have the highest proportion of households using kerosene as source of lighting fuel at 88 percent while only 56 percent of urban households use kerosene. The proportion of male-headed households using kerosene as lighting fuel is higher than that of females at 86 and 79 percent respectively. Of the three regions of the country, the northern region has the highest proportion of households using kerosene for lighting at 90 percent while the center comes second at 85 percent and then the south at 83 percent. Other than kerosene, the second major source of lighting fuel is electricity.
Nearly six percent of households in the country use electricity for lighting, 2 percent in rural areas and 33 percent in the cities. Less than a quarter of households in Malawi have electricity within 100 meters from their dwelling. The proportion is higher in urban areas at 68 percent, relative to rural areas at 11 percent. By sex of household head, the proportion of households with the electricity grid within 100 meters is higher in male-headed households than in female-headed households. The center and the northern region have 8 percent of households with electricity grid within 100 meters from their household. However, the rate is much higher in the southern region at 23 percent. Although 16 percent of the population has electricity within 100 meters from their household, only 6 percent of households in Malawi have electricity within their household. In urban areas a third of households have electricity in their households, whilst the rate is very low in rural areas where only two percent of households have electricity in the household. More male-headed households have electricity in their household registering 6 percent, whilst only half of this is the case in female-headed households.
The average energy consumption at the official international poverty line of the World Bank is at ($1.25 per day) or in the country in question . This is not acceptable from a human needs point of view, and should be more seen as “minimum service level”. And poverty in Malawi is extreme as compared to other countries, which makes women and children be affected more than people groups. Because of poor gender practices in the country women and children do most of the household chores which includes collecting firewood, fetching water, grinding maize flour, cooking and many others.
Addressing the situation of energy in rural Malawi
The Gold Standard, the premium certification standard for carbon credits, has been chosen by the International Climate Initiative to develop a set of innovative tools that will lower entry barriers and allow for the scale-up of carbon market activities in under-represented regions, such as Sub-Saharan Africa. One of which is to develop a suppressed demand methodology for rural electrification in Sub-Saharan Least developed country. With the focus of the CDM shifting in a post-2012 regime, the need for innovative approaches and institutional preparation to generate emission reductions from these regions has become much more pressing. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this International Climate initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.
The funding awarded to The Gold Standard Foundation for this three-year programme is to be used to develop top-down methodologies tailored to suppressed demand and micro-scale projects, generate more refined guidelines for Gold Standard Programme of Activities (PoAs). It will provide new rules and schemes for micro-scale activities, build institutional capacity for Designated National Authorities (DNAs) and auditors with respect to sustainable development criteria and develop collaborative relationships to harness their local expertise and knowledge, and finally, create ‘entrepreneurial’ capacity amongst project proponents.
The Gold Standard Foundation is working with NIRAS (Consulting firm in Denmark) and Chinansi Foundation (local partner in Malawi) on the developing of the Suppressed Demand Methodology for micro-scale rural electrification which will deliver concrete solutions with the hope that in time these activities will be adopted under compliance schemes.
Description of the Proposed Off-Grid Rural Electrification Methodology
A Gold Standard micro-scale suppressed demand off-grid rural electrification (energisation) for households/villages methodology in Malawi (an LDC in Sub-Saharan Africa) site is being developed as an illustrative example by NIRAS and Chinansi Foundation. The methodology is developed in parallel with a PoA Design Document which should demonstrate a Suppressed Demand Off-Grid rural electrification methodology. The threshold for a micro-scale project is up to 10,000 tCO2/year.
The idea of the project is supply electricity in rural areas to individual households or villages without electricity from the grid. The potential project is not located close to any larger grid, so it is not expected that they can be connected to this in the nearest future. The households or villages have at this stage electricity supply from diesel generators, but only few hours every day. Some households or villages have no electricity supply at all and this electricity from batteries from time to time.