“Energising Development” Liberia Country Programme

Project description

Title: Energising Development Liberia Country Programme
Country: Liberia
Auftraggeber: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy
Overall term: 2012 to 2015

Context

Only ten per cent of Liberia’s urban population has access to electricity, and less than two per cent of its rural population. Those who do have access use diesel or gasoline generators. There is no stable public power supply almost anywhere in the country.

Although there is enormous potential for hydropower and solar energy to generate electricity in Liberia, biomass remains the country's number one energy source: more than 95 per cent of the rural population cook with wood, which is usually felled and gathered for free. In most cases paraffin, kerosene and dry cell batteries are used for lighting, but also candles.

Objective

Access to a sustainable energy supply in households is improved. The focus to date is on cooking stoves, solar lamps and solar dryers.

Approach

Energising Development (EnDev) is part of a global initiative implemented by GIZ and financed by BMZ, the Directorate-General for International Cooperation of the Netherlands (DGIS), United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Liberia is one of the youngest members that joined the group of now 24 countries where the Energising Development programme is implemented. GIZ began establishing the programme in Liberia in 2012, in cooperation with Liberian institutions. So far, more than twelve million people around the world have been supplied with energy through EnDev.

Cooking technology. A prototype stove adapted to Liberian needs, the Red Fire Pot, was developed by EnDev Liberia. Thanks to the stove’s special design, 90 per cent of the generated heat is concentrated on the base of the cooking pot.

Three training courses have already been held for stove producers. Unusually, there were also women among the stove producers. Further training courses are planned, and support for women in this profession will be continued. As well as technical training, the entrepreneurial and organisational skills of the stove producers and traders are also being developed in the course of the programme. Everyone is encouraged to adopt a commercial approach.

Solar lamps and solar systems. EnDev Liberia supports the development of a market for solar lamps in Liberia. The Liberian Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA) was brought in as a partner for this. Cooperation in the field of energy and renewable energy is supported by a variety of measures, including a conference, seminars, stands providing information and selling equipment, and the establishment of a joint internet platform on the subject of energy in Liberia.

During training courses, traders find out how solar lamps work and learn how to repair them, what spare parts they should keep in stock and how their customers can maintain the performance of the lamps to prolong their life.

Various schools are being examined to determine their suitability for a solar power supply. Solar systems (mini-grids) and in particular their maintenance are also planned for health centres and small settlements.

Results

By mid-2014 a total of 1,200 stoves had been distributed by EnDev in Liberia, 410 of which had been produced in Liberia itself. Each energy-saving stove reduces fuel consumption by 50 per cent. The higher purchase costs (a conventional stove costs five US dollars, while an energy-saving model costs 20 dollars) can be recovered in three months in Liberia.

EnDev has also supported the sale of solar lamps, thereby reaching 2,600 households. EnDev Liberia has brought 30 new manufacturers and traders of stoves, lamps and other equipment onto the market so far.

In addition, 153 solar cocoa bean dryers have been built for and with local farmers’ cooperatives. They improve the quantity and quality of the harvested cocoa, thus helping to boost the farmers’ incomes in the cooperatives.

Further information