Energising Development is launching a new COVID-19 impact survey focusing on the off-grid industry, this time undertook as part of a bigger consortium, which EnDev is leading. The process is being organized on the GIZ-side (Philipp Waigel, myself), and we were able to build on the learning experience from RVO during the first survey-round.
The reasoning for this second survey: We would like to better understand how things are moving on the ground, what has changed (for better or worse), and come up with a more global picture of the COVID-19 impacts on the industry. This should enable us to advocate for a global and systemic response, which is still missing in the various international fora.
The Power Africa Off-grid Project (PAOP), a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-contracted project implemented by RTI International, seeks applications to fund one or multiple awards to provide incentives, in the form of grants, to qualified organizations/companies to catalyze the growth of off-grid energy access solutions to improve the readiness and resilience of healthcare within sub-Saharan Africa. This RFA provides prospective applicants with a fair opportunity to develop and submit competitive applications to PAOP for potential funding.
Detailed information concerning the RFP can be available here.
Lofa is a county in the northernmost portion of Liberia. One of the 15 counties that constitute the first-level of administrative division in the nation, and has nine districts. Voinjama serves as the capital with the area of the county measuring 9,982 square kilometers (3,854 sq mi). As of the 2008 Census, it had a population of 276,863, making it the third most populous county in Liberia.
On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, various stakeholders of the private and renewable energy (RE) sector in Liberia met for the Integrated Forum for Renewable Energy in Liberia (IFREL), this month held at DKT International office in the Devin's House, Airfield Shortcut Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia.
During the meeting, the agenda item and discussion point were presented by Robert Menworleh and he also elaborated on information sharing that which have to do with job opportunity and project activities update for it to be published on the Renewables Liberia web portal.
Mr. Menworleh gives an overview of an important menu of the web portal explaining how it provides opportunities for individuals or interested groups in the renewable energy sector. He encouraged stakeholders to keep checking on the web portal for job opportunities and e-learning materials.
During the meeting, stakeholders were focusing on a few discussion points (topic) as below per group.
Topic: Imagine a digital Marketplace. How could that look like, what should be possible to benefit you and other stakeholders in the Sector?
On the above topic below were points highlighted:
Topic: Imagine getting things and E-learning opportunities on your smartphone. What would you wish to learn, and how? Think of all your training and learning experiences. What is important for you to stay motivated, learn, and benefit from what you have learned?
On the above topic below were points highlighted:
With regards to benefits, the group cited Empowerment, Experience, Application of Knowledge within Communities and Business Model.
Topic: What have been your experiences with EnDev Collect App (Renewables Web-Portal)? If you have used them. What did you like? What is Useful, what should be changed? Same with Web- Portal.
On the above topic below were points highlighted:
About the web portal, the group pointed out that it is very useful because it shares information and about renewable happening within the country and make it easy to have access to a renewable energy job opportunity.
During the meeting, Christiana T. Wayon a representative from Top Consulting, Inc, said that the Renewables Liberia web portal is important because it has stakeholder’s information in the renewable energy (RE) sector in Liberia. She told other stakeholders that awareness of climate change should be the next target because it affects our health and RE is the way forward.
Mr. Joshua G. Kangar of Easy Solar Liberia told stakeholders that Easy Solar is now in Liberia and in search of potential people to work for the institution and they installed over 300 solar home systems in Liberia, working to install more as they anticipate new staff on board. Mr. Joshua said using the app is key because he as a Finance Manager of his institution can set in his office and know how many dollars had been collected in the field. He said he was impressed to see young students that are studying electricity and electronics that have to do with energy within the meeting and encouraged participants of the IFREL to create a space for these students to carry out practical as they go about their study. Mr. Kangar also said it is very important to have e-learning that will empower students and other professionals to enhance study in the renewable energy field.
Lily Saab a representative from the Liberia Solar and Satellite Service Provider said that her institution in December of last year graduated students in the installation and maintenance of solar, satellite, and CCT camera. She added that the institute is working with other organizations to create internships for their graduates.
Are Obasemue from the Archant Assistant group elaborated that e-learning is one of the greatest approaches for renewable energy to be preached and there should be a system set up to capture the thief on renewable energy systems in Liberia?
Mr. Johnson Nanlee of the Ministry of Mines and Energy spoke on the validation documents of a financing opportunity of Businesses in the Renewable Energy Sector. He said that he will send out the documents to RE stakeholders to make necessary comments before sending it out. According to Mr. Nanlee, he said that Liberia is lacking behind because stakeholders do not respond to documents quickly, he also encouraged attendees of the meeting to send their feedback.
In conclusion, stakeholders of the meeting that was held at the DKT international office in Monrovia are impressing to have a digital marketplace where they can learn about different types of renewable energy. The stakeholders pledged to support the digital marketplace with information. They are concerned about training people about e-learning and impress to have the EnDev collect App as a tool to collect data which is easy and will continue to support the renewable energy sector through the IFREL meeting.
Freeman & Freeman Entertainment Club House, Bar, Grill and Restaurant is a Liberian ownen business located on the Robert Field High way, opposite the Bible Way Mission It is the first Liberian entertainment center that is operating on solar energy.
On Wednesday, May 8, 2019 a Project Engineer Storage, Norbert Taphorn, from a Germany based company called TESVOLT, held a one day Seminar about Lithium Ion battery storage, at the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA) head office, and their company which is providing storage solution with such technology.
On Tuesday, November 26, 2019, various stakeholders of the Renewable Energy (RE) Sector in Liberia met for the Integrated Forum for Renewable Energy in Liberia (IFREL), this month held at the GIZ/EnDev office. In two smaller focus discussion groups, participants reflected on and discussed core problems of the Renewable Energy sector in Liberia, and how they might be addressed.
The overall problem of “Liberians not fully using the potential of renewable energies and contributing to environmental problems (deforestation, pollution, etc.) and climate change” was broken down into different causes that are problems that could be addressed: insufficient awareness about the renewable energies (and their benefits), lack of finance, not many highly qualified solar installers, difficulties in finding high-quality installers and opportunities. Each of these problems was further broken down into related problems.
Lack of finances was perceived as a core problem. While in some countries, banks can help to finance the high investment costs of solar systems, this is not (yet) commonly practiced in Liberia. Such a lack of viable financing options can lead to the inability of solar businesses to thrive or expand if customers are unable to settle payments.
Both discussion groups highlighted insufficient awareness about Renewable Energy Technologies as a core problem for the sector. If people are not informed, interest and demand remain low, people then have little exposure or experience of RE and lose viable opportunities, e.g. to save money by using solar irrigation in agriculture. IFREL participants suggested that it could be an option to reach out to schools, churches, mosques to provide quality awareness on renewable energy solutions. Also, stakeholders agreed “We all need to generate videos, installers testimonies, upload it to the social media” The renewables-liberia.info web portal and its associated social media channels are open to showcase success stories and material to increase awareness.
The third problem, difficulties to find highly qualified RE professionals/opportunities point to the need for better training and better avenues to identify and connect with people providing or searching for RE products, services, or opportunities of high quality. This is crucial to prevent problems and disappointment about RE due to low-quality products and installations, which might lead to a bad reputation of solar energy and reduced demand. IFREL participants discussed that e-learning could be an option to increase the skills of solar installers. A digital information system about skilled professionals, with the possibility to identify, rate, and compare products and services might help to increase availability and quality of and satisfaction with RE products and services.
As always on IFREL meetings, participating stakeholders shared about their activities.
The next IFREL meeting will be on the last Tuesday of January 2020, open to everyone involved or interested in the RE sector of Liberia.
On August 15, 2019 the Millennium Challenge Account – Liberia (MCA-L) invited electricity sector stakeholders to validate the findings of the Electricity Operator Census. The Census was conducted in June/July following to create a database of operators. This will help the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) for registration and licensing of electricity operators.
The renewable energy stakeholders from various institutions on Tuesday the 30th, of April 2019, met at the Ministry of Health, R.L. to discuss activities concerting renewable energy in the country. The 10th meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Health.
Join us June 1-3, 2020 for “Microgrids as a Recovery Tool During Social and Economic Disruption,” an online gathering of the industry’s top thinkers, innovators, and change-makers, who will explore the crucial role of microgrids at this point in history. Never before has reliable, clean and cost-effective electricity been so important, which is why businesses, communities, utilities, governments, and institutions are turning to microgrids for their energy supply. Hear stories from those on the front lines of the microgrid revolution. Gain insight into the latest trends, technologies, and opportunities through informative presentations and lively discussion. Learn about real-world microgrids, why they were built, and how they are giving rise to the new prosumer.
Designed by the editors of Microgrid Knowledge, the three-day event offers:
June 1: The Health, Economic and Environmental Influences Giving Rise to Microgrids
June 2: Who Microgrids Serve: From Business to Education to the Clean Energy Revolution
June 3: How Microgrids Reduce Costs, Cut Carbon, and Ensure Power Supply in Tough Times & Places.
Learn More here.
The Apostolic Faith Church is the first religion organization to host the Integrated Forum for Renewable Energy in Liberia (IFREL) monthly meeting. The meeting was held at the Church compound located in Gaye town Old Zoo, Old Road.
The renewable energy stakeholders from various institutions on Tuesday the 26th of March 2019, met at the Ministry of Health to discuss activities concerning renewable energies in the country.