On the 28th November we held the MREAP Programme Steering Group Meeting at Madidi Lodge in Lilongwe.

Together with representatives from the Polytechnic, Mzuzu University, MuREA, Concern Universal, CEDP, RENAMA and the Dept of Energy we reviewed the progress of the various MREAP work streams and discussed key issues for the next 6 months of the programme.

Full minutes of the meeting along with the most recent progress reports will be available soon on the MREAP website www.strath.ac.uk/eee/energymalawi

In general the MREAP steering group restated their commitment to producing useful learning on sustainability and scalability of off-grid renewable energy systems in Malawi.  Key targets over the next 6 months are: the completion of the wind measurement mast installations, early research outcomes and ramped up training delivery from RECBP, roll out of initial tranche of CEDP community projects, completion of the Mzuni biogas pilot project and completion of the WASHTED solar PV project.  Overlaying all the community projects we will be implementing a monitoring and learning framework using key indicators and tools developed over the last year by MREAP.

The importance of interacting with the existing networks was emphasised and the group committed to increased participation in MBAULA http://www.mbaula.org/ and CONREMA http://www.conrema.org/

The steering group also discussed national initiatives relating to databases of renewable energy installations and sustainability analysis.  The group has undertaken to complete a retrospective sustainability study of solar PV systems on schools and health clinics using the existing install base of the MREAP partner organisations.  This will be aligned to feed into the national initiatives as they progress but will initially provide the basis for an MREAP learning paper.  This learning paper will highlight proposed best practice and discuss improved sustainable deployment models that will be implemented in the current roll-out of MREAP community projects (where solar PV is the chosen technology of the community).

We would like to thank everyone who attended for the lively discussions and contributions to a valuable and interesting meeting!