Long Term Vision

Least Cost Long term vision. The starting point for the Rural Energy Master Plan was the development of a long term vision for the universal electrification of all Liberians - most likely only achievable on the 2050 horizon - using the most advanced geo-spatial network and off-grid planning tools developed by Earth Institute of Columbia University. The resulting Medium Voltage optimal network was than processed by the Consultant to develop a conceptual High Voltage infra-structure with adequate levels of tension for estimated loads and location of HV/MV sub-stations and generation centers that can minimize investments in HV infra-structure while offering adequate n-1 redundancy.


Long term grid results. As can be seen, the resulting National Grid covers a great part of the Country’s populated areas and connects all County Capitals. In the long term the national grid will connect more than 89% of all population, corresponding to 97% of total energy demand. Although the majority of the population is grid connected, only 40% of the inhabited settlements (>5000) are covered by the long term grid. For the remaining 60% (>7000), the least cost option was the off-grid solution based on solar home systems. These off-grid locations are mainly small size settlements with an average size of 115 inhabitants scattered across the country far away from the main roads.

Backwards to 2030. The Rural Energy Master Plan studied four alternative scenarios for the electricity sector in 2030, to reflect the vision and expectations of the different stakeholders interviewed. All the scenarios were based and moved towards the long term vision, but varied the electrification approach and the level of ambition:

  • Scenario 1A focused on traditional grid extension with a target of 35% rural electrification by 2030.
  • Scenario 1B proposed an accelerated and more decentralized electrification approach to reach 35%
  • Scenario 2A defended an aggressive national grid extension to reach 50% rural electrification by 2030
  • Scenario 2B defended an aggressive investment program both on national grid, large decentralized grids and mini-grids to reach 50%



Scenario analysis. Scenarios that targeted 50% implied a total investment in excess of USD 1Bi which would represent a non-realistic implementation and funding challenge. Scenarios that were in line with Government of Liberia target of 35% remain ambitious but require a funding level that can be realistically mobilized. Traditional grid extension alternative would concentrate the electrification effort around the Growth Corridor with some Counties remaining in 2030 with very low electrification rates and would require additional investment to extend the High Voltage infra-structure. Scenario 1B was selected and validated at the stakeholder workshop held in Gbarnga on February 2016.

A decentralized and equitable transition to the “large grid” long term vision. The Government of Liberia opted not to delay access to energy for those far away from the existing National Grid and to benefit from the country’s immense renewable potential in enabling the setup of mini and decentralized grids. The priority for rural energy is to start building the least cost long term vision based on Medium Voltage investments, Decentralized Grids and Renewable Energies that can maximize number of connections in an equitable way across the country until 2030 – from Monrovia to cities and towns, from cities and towns to more rural areas.