Hydrocarbon Exports Funding Libya’s Solar Boom

Country Overview

The North African country of the State of Libya is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria, and Tunisia. The population of Libya is approximately 6.93 million people.

In 2022, Libya’s economy was ranked 89th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of crude oil, natural gas, refined petroleum, scrap iron, and gold.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Libya signed the Paris Climate Agreement. However, the Libyan parliament did not ratify the Paris Climate Agreement until August 31, 2021.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 70.2% of the people in Libya ad access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned utility, General Electricity Company of Libya used natural gas (96.81 %), refined petroleum (3.16 %), and solar (0.03 %) to generate electricity in Libya. Solar is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Libya.

Recent renewable energy projects in Libya include:

  • 500 MW Solar Project – In April 2023, the National Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) commissioned the Sadada solar project at a site approximately 175 miles south of the nation’s capital, Tripoli.
  • 200 MW Solar Project – In January 2022, U.S. renewable energy company, AG Solutions commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 225 miles southwest of Tripoli.
  • 62 MW Solar Project – In December 2022, the Renewable Energy Authority of Libya commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 8 miles east-southeast of Tripoli.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In December 2022, the Renewable Energy Authority of Libya commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 75 miles southeast of Tripoli.

Conclusions

Commercial oil was first discovered in Libya in 1959. In 2022, Libya was the 14th largest crude oil and 27th largest natural gas exporting country in the world.

Exports of crude oil, natural gas, and refined petroleum are essential to Libya’s economy. In 2021, Libya exported U.S. $27 Billion of crude oil, U.S. $1.94 Billion of natural gas, and U.S. $592 Million of refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Libya has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, onshore wind, offshore wind, and biomass. Hydrocarbon exports of crude oil, natural gas, and refined petroleum are now funding the solar boom in Libya.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

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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.

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