Malawi villages bet on wind to address acute power shortage


In Malawi, Mpepu Energy is leading a transformative charge in the realm of sustainable energy. This Malawi-based startup has set its sights on narrowing the energy gap, particularly in underserved rural communities. At the heart of their mission is the deployment of micro-grids featuring a game-changing technology—the helix wind turbine.

This cost-effective innovation is designed to revolutionize the energy landscape, bringing clean and reliable power to those who need it the most.

Unpacking the mission

Malawi grapples with a staggering energy poverty rate, with only 15% of its 19 million population connected to the grid. Rural communities, comprising the majority, bear the brunt of this issue, with a mere 10.4% having access to electricity. Mpepu Energy aims to confront this challenge head-on, recognizing the far-reaching impacts on crucial sectors such as health, agriculture, education, and entrepreneurship.

By harnessing wind energy, an underutilized resource in Malawi, the company envisions not just power but progress for these communities.

A breath of fresh energy

At the heart of Mpepu Energy’s innovation is the helix wind turbine – a revolutionary technology developed in collaboration with a distinguished Argentine partner. Unlike traditional designs with three rotor blades, the helix turbine boasts unmatched efficiency in generating electricity at low wind speeds and heights below 1 meter.

Its robust design ensures durability in extreme wind conditions, promising an extended operational lifespan. By incorporating this cutting-edge technology into micro-grids, Mpepu Energy is on track to produce clean and sustainable electricity for the communities it serves.

 Pilot micro-grid

Currently in the pilot stage, Mpepu Energy is gearing up to establish a 15 KW pilot micro-grid in Ntchisi district. This ambitious project aims to touch the lives of 80 households, 30 businesses and a primary and secondary school. The initiative aligns with Mpepu Energy’s overarching vision of fostering progress in the three key pillars of Energy, Enterprise, and Education. The goal is clear: to elevate the socio-economic landscape of these communities through accessible and sustainable energy.

Potential and demand

Mpepu Energy’s venture hinges on well-established technology, adapting the helix turbine originally effective for hydroelectricity—for wind energy. As the demand for electricity in rural communities continues to escalate, Mpepu Energy stands at the forefront, ready to address thispressing need.

The team envisions a transformative impact on energy access in these communities, mirroring the increasing adoption of solar home systems.

Meet the visionaries

Driving Mpepu Energy’s mission are Madalitso Chimpeni, an accomplished energy professional with 6 years of experience, and Steven Malemia, co-founder with 3 years of expertise in off-grid energy and entrepreneurship. Together with their dynamic team, they are poised to lead the charge in the energy revolution with unwavering dedication to excellence.

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