The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy 2006-2011 (MGDS) set out the government’s economic growth and development priorities for five years. The MGDS identified energy, along with five other key priority areas, as a crucial input for industrial processing. The government recognizes that the power sector is a key constraint to Malawi’s economic growth. The objective of the MGDS was to reduce the number and duration of blackouts, increase access to reliable and affordable electricity in rural areas and other targeted areas, and improve coordination between the needs for energy for households and those of other high growth sectors such as tourism and mining. The second MGDS 2 (2011-2016) is not yet published.In addition to the MGDS, a National Energy Policy (NEP) was approved in 2003 and is the responsibility of the Department of Energy Affairs (DoEA). The policy resulted in the formation of the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) and was influential in a recent restructuring of the The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), while continuing to guide energy development within the country.As part of the NEP, a Renewable Energy Framework has been in development for some time. This will also be the responsibility of the DoEA and will bring more coherence to renewable energy developments particularly at the national, grid-level, scale but also with some focus on the local, off-grid, scale.At the international level, Malawi is a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which requires the government to report on greenhouse gas emissions and other vulnerabilities. As part of their involvement with the UNFCCC, the Malawian Government developed a Technology Needs Assessment report in 2003 . In the absence of other formally approved government policies, strategies or plans for renewable development, this document provides a reasonable overview of the government’s strategies and requirements with regards to renewables.In an attempt to minimize the use of biomass fuels the government undertook a number of initiatives including the Program for Biomass Energy Conservation (ProBEC) which seeks to promote the use of clay stoves to save fuel; the Promotion of Alternative Energy Sources Project (PAESP) which seeks to promote non-traditional fuels for cooking and heating to reduce environmental degradation; and a National Sustainable and Renewable Energy Programme (NSREP) which promotes renewable energy technologies in Malawi. The Malawi Rural Electrification Project (MAREP) has also been established.The Rural Electrification Bill (2004) deals with all aspects of renewable energy systems.