The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), is implementing a comprehensive Electricity Master Plan for developing the sector in Liberia up to 2030.
Key objectives of this plan include;
Aggressive reconstruction and expansion of the transmission and distribution infrastructure,
Expansion of firm generation capacity and diversification of generation sources,
Reduction in cost of electricity and increasing the reliability of electricity supply,
Development of the capacity to effectively manage the energy sector,
Developing a new legal and regulatory framework which facilitates execution of this strategy,
Attracting private investment to the energy sector, particularly in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in order to leverage the use of public resources.
The provision of clean and reliable energy to urban and rural Liberia is high on the government’s agenda. With less than 10 percent of urban and less than 2 percent of rural residents receiving power from Liberia Electricity Company, the government -owned electricity provider, significant investment in this sector will help the government reach its target of 30 percent and 15 percent respectively.
Electricity on the national grid has increased from zero and by the end of 2017 will be at least 150 megawatts reaching a target of 54.000 households across the country. Additionally, there is the power grid covering the Mano river union countries which provides electricity to leeward counties in Liberia. Investment is still needed to make the dream of providing consistent and clean carbon neutral energy for all a reality.
Liberia has also joined the west Africa power pool and recently passed a new electricity law that allows private participation in power generation and an independent regulatory authority providing investment opportunities to this sector.
Secured mining demand scenario
Total demand under the Secured mining demand scenario will increase to about 452 MW in 2033. Mining demand makes up a portion of about 40 %.
Ram-Up Mining Demand Scenario
Total demand under the ram-up mining scnenarion will increase to about 837 MW in 2033. The share of mining demand in total demand is around 67%
HFOs 38 MW – Current Capacity
Mt. Coffee hydro 88 MW (revamped by December 2016)
Approx. 2000 MW aggregate hydro potential Potentials biomass 500 MW; solar energy
Power Distribution and Transmission
Development of National power grid Concrete poles Hydro Power Potential
High potential for hydropower - difference between the dry and wet seasons.
This overview of potential hydropower capacity in Liberia shows that there is a significant potential of up to 1,500 MW, However, it is necessary to review these projects with reference to the followings aspects:
Suitability for hydropower plants with and without reservoir
Verification of technical and hydraulic data
Integration into transmission grid
Environmental and social impacts.
For the Mano and Cavalla Projects, these rivers are Border Rivers to neighboring countries (Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast). Hence, Regional Approach
- Potential Small and Mini-Hydro Sites
- Small Hydro Power Potential
- Solar Potential
As Liberia is located near to the equator, the conditions are generally favorable for any kind of use of solar radiation.
Estimates from satellite measurements suggest monthly average daily solar radiation between 6.02 kWh/m2/d in February/March to 3.85 kWh/m2/d in July/August which show good prospects for photovoltaic systems.
Total production of 1400 - 1700 kwh/kW peak (including losses) is a realistic figure for concept evaluations.
There is potential for solar power generation especially in rural areas where no connection to a grid or a local power station can be made available.
Possible solutions in combination with other sources and storage systems will be encouraged, taking into account that power generation by photovoltaic systems is not in accordance with times of maximum use of electricity.
Based on globally available wind speed data, the estimate of the wind speed in the coastal area is about 3.5 m/s to 6 m/s in the different months of the year.
There is a significant potential for power generation based on windmills all over the country if turbines specialized for low wind speeds are installed.
The advantage of the coastal areas is there is higher wind speed in some months, whereas the advantage of the mountainous areas is the more constant availability of wind over the year.
Waste To Energy Potential
Liberia is generally favorable for waste to energy power production.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) production for different regions of Liberia in 2014 was estimated as 269,626 tons/year with Monrovia producing 75% of the estimated waste.
This lead to a projected energy production of 16,645 MWh/year
In general, a proposal for the use of waste to energy generation must include details for implementing a waste collection system.
For the future, there will be a potential for the use of waste as long as an efficient collection system can be set up. Collection system can be set up.
In general, Liberia has the following available classes of biomass resources:
o Forestry products, forestry byproducts and forestry residues
o Agricultural crops and residues
o Residues and byproducts from all kinds of biogenic material processes (saw mill byproducts, byproducts
from harvesting and milling)
From a current perspective, power production in combination with the palm oil mill process seems the most viable option.
For all other biomass, it is necessary to evaluate the potential locally to find suitable amounts for power generation without a competing use.
For big plantations, the use of biomass can be part of the concession contract