The Government of Liberia believes the gaps in the energy sector present clear investment opportunities for the private sector. One solution to stabilize the hydro dam at 88 megawatts throughout the year is to build a reservoir at the confluence of the Via and St. Paul River over which Mount Coffee sits. Reservoir and cascading dams along the St. Paul River can generate as much as 500 to 800 megawatts of power.
The government is moving to achieve realization of the TRANSCO CLSG transmission lines coming from the Cote d’Ivoire. This will make available an additional 225 kilovolts of electricity to augment the supply from the Mount Coffee hydroelectric plant. This should boost industrialization and expand the value chain in sectors such as agriculture and tourism. A major challenge to be attended, however, lies in transmission and distribution (T&D).
The Rural Electrification and Strategic Master Plan sets clear targets, identifies least-cost projects and technologies, and investments needed to increase renewable energy access for rural areas and populations. These include mini and small hydro-power plants as well as solar technologies. Scaling up these investments will have huge implication for the enhancement and expansion of development corridors such as in the agriculture value chain.
The Rural and Renewable Agency (RREA) has rehabilitated mini-hydro plant delivering 60 KW in Yandohum in Lofa County; contracted 2 MW hydro plant on Kaiha River in Lofa to benefit 50,000 homes and businesses, completed feasibility studies for three hydropower sites; and distributed 31,000 solar lanterns/lamps and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in 9 facilities in Lofa County. Opportunities for more affordable energy investments exist for private providers.
Investment opportunities in energy include the following:
- Transmission and distribution
- Off-grid power production
- Energy mix: solar, wind, biomass, mini-hydro powers, waste to energy, etc.
- Huge unmet demand for energy both locally and regionally
- Expert estimates indicate an unmet demand for about 843 MW of power in the Monrovia grid alone
- Sierra Leone and Guinea create about 450 MW of extra demand, while Ghana and Nigeria have a shortfall of about 15,000 MW.