AfDB grants US$23.25mn for Liberia’s renewable energy sector

LiberiaThe annual average household's electricity consumption currently stands at 510kWh for an average family of five persons in Liberia. (Image source: World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr)The AfDB has granted Liberia US$23.25mn through the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) for the construction of a 9.8MW hydropower plant at Gbedin Falls on the Mano River, with an aim to transform the renewable energy sector in the country

The project is expected to provide a low-cost, sustainable and reliable energy source to supply electricity to the citizens of Liberia.

In a statement, AfDB said that the project will be funded by CIF’s scaling-up renewable energy program (SREP), which incorporates transformation in developing countries by demonstrating the economic, social and environmental viability of renewable energy.

“Liberia has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world with less than two per cent of households having access to electricity services nationwide and therefore expanding access to electricity is not only vital but should be one of the country’s topmost priorities“, said Leandro Azevedo, CIF coordinator and senior climate change officer at AfDB.

AfDB expects that the project will help in reducing the widespread use of diesel generators in Liberia, as those are often considered as highly pollutant with significant impact on the environment.

Anthony Nyong, director at Climate Finance and Climate Change Department at AfDB, said, “As Liberia continues recovering from the 2014 Ebola Crisis, these financial resources will help the government of Liberia to prioritise their own scarce resources into those sectors of the economy and society that have suffered greatly with the depression caused by this terrible disease.”

“AfDB is strongly committed to support Liberia in transforming its energy sector following this approval from the CIF,” he added.

AfDB explained that the electricity from the Gbedin Falls hydropower plant will be transmitted through the country’s existing cross border transmission line. The organisaton estimates that the project would supply electricity to about 500,000 people after completion.

“We will work intensively with our energy experts to ensure that the project’s implementation begins as quickly as possible,” Azevedo committed.

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