Liberia was devastated by a civil war from 1989 to 2003, resulting in the death of 150,000 to 250,000 people. In 2003, the United Nations sent a peacekeeping operation to Liberia to monitor a ceasefire agreement. Over the last twenty years, Liberia made significant progress at rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and economy.
In 2022, Liberia’s economy was ranked 150th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of gold, passenger and cargo ships, iron ore, rubber, and special purpose ships.
In 2016, Liberia signed the Paris Climate Agreement pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below a business-as-usual scenario by 2030. Liberia also committed to a long-term goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, only 29.8% of the people in Liberia had access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned utility, Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) used renewable energy (57.6%) and refined petroleum (42.4%) to generate electricity. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Liberia.
Recent renewable energy projects in Liberia include:
- 88 MW Hydropower Project –Hydropower projects – In 2018, the Government of Liberia re-commissioned the Mount Coffee hydropower project, built in 1966 but destroyed in 1990 during the First Liberian Civil War.
- 60 MW Solar Project – In February 2023, the Government of Liberia signed a S. $96 Million financing agreement with the World Bank for a major solar power project. The solar project will be built near the Mount Coffee hydropower project, approximately 15 miles northeast of the nation’s capital, Monrovia.
Liberia imports all the nation’s refined petroleum for transportation and power generation. In 2021, Liberia imported U.S. $2.63 Billion for imported refined petroleum.
Liberia has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources including hydropower, solar, onshore wind, biomass, and offshore wind. The country’s undeveloped renewable resources could provide electricity to everyone in this beautiful but impoverished country. International aid is helping Liberia to rebuild their nation with reliable, low-cost renewable energy.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.