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Scotland to aid Malawi on green energy

01/11/2012

Scotland’s commitment to aiding Malawi in combating climate change and developing renewable energy has been extended.

Two specialists from the Scottish Government will be seconded to the African state from next year to advise their government following discussions between Scottish and Malawian Environment Ministers at the Rio+20 conference.

The announcement follows Education Secretary Michael Russell meeting a number of major international aid donors to the country to discuss collaboration and co-ordination on renewables, building on previous investment from the Scottish Government.

Mr Russell said:

“Scotland is a world leader in renewable energy and tackling climate change, we have a wealth of expertise in both areas.

“As part of our commitment to aid the development of Malawi, I am delighted to be able to provide the country with the expertise of two specialists who, for a short period next year, will help the country make progress in the areas vital to ensuring a sustainable future for the planet.

“Furthermore, 93 percent of the population of Malawi, do not have access to electricity.  Through this initiative Scotland will help Malawi extend access to electricity across the nation in a sustainable way that does not add to carbon emissions and protects against fluctuations in the cost of fossil fuels.”

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Attendees at the renewables meeting included the United Nations Development Programme, the UK’s Department for International Development, the Norwegian development agency NORAD and the Japanese agency JICA.

This work is in addition to the Scottish Government’s £3 million Climate Justice Fund – which will provide support to projects in Sub Saharan Africa, such as Malawi, to help mitigate the impacts of climate change – and also builds on the Scottish Government’s investment of £1.7 million in the University of Strathclyde’s Malawi Renewable Energy Programme (MREAP).

The MREAP project, run by the University of Strathclyde, started early this year. Its aim is to explore new ways of installing, monitoring and managing community based off-grid renewable energy as well as the potential for wind energy in Malawi.