Participants of the LEAP Launch

On December 2nd, 2016 the Liberian Energy Access Practitioner Network (LEAP) was officially launched. The LEAP Launch has been organized by Mercy Corps as part of their EU project, "Light Up Liberia."

The LEAP Network aims to link stakeholders in the sector of renewable energies in Liberia, to strengthen partnerships and alliances, avoid doubling of actions, and to promote as well as develop the market for renewable energy products and services in Liberia.

Speakers at the opening ceremony, were Douglas Cooper, deputy country director of MC, Hartlieb Euler, Director of EnDev, and Mardia Potter Warner from RREA. The steering committee was presented, consisting of Mercy Corps, RREA, EnDev and one private business still to be named. The LEAP network is not only a platform to connect, share, inform and cooperate in the renewables sector. It also aims to train people in business, on renewable energy technologies and to support start-ups. A start-up weekend is planned for early 2017.

Further, RREA, EnDev, Plan and Total unveiled their ongoing projects. They stressed that the off-grid sector is growing faster than the grid, definitely until 2040, according to the estimates from Worldbank, AfDB and others. Restraints to the success of Solar Power in Liberia were mentioned, such as bad road conditions causing a poor distribution network, high initial costs of the products and the difficulties in subsidizing.