26.10.2018, Monrovia – The Department of Energy (DoE) of the Ministry of Mines and Energy hosted the 5th Integrated Forum for Renewable Energy in Liberia (IFREL) workshop. This monthly meeting focuses on stakeholder dialogue and content production for the Renewables Liberia platform. Nanlee Johnson, Energy Specialist at the Department, and Saida Wolff, Communications Associate for Renewables Liberia, gave inputs and facilitated the lively discussions.

Mr. Johnson gave a presentation about the DoE´s role for coordination and supervision of renewable energy projects and other sector developments in Liberia. Based on the Vision 2030 to provide all citizens with clean and affordable energy, special focus is drawn on suitable policy and regulation´s creation, said Johnson. While the DoE has access to donor grants and soft loans and an available regulatory framework and participates in the sectors development, a focus has also been drawn to challenges the Department faces, of which are scarcity of energy information for local & regional reporting on Liberia and inadequate skilled technical personnel in DOE to drive the energy sector among others.

Later on, Saida Wolff and Friederike Feuchte presented the Renewables Liberia toolbox that has been designed by Energising Development (EnDev) program with support of Rural Renewable Energy Agency (RREA). The toolbox consists of the webportal www.renewables-liberia.com, on which stakeholders are encouraged to upload news, events of the sector and have the possibility to represent themselves. Some of the participants raised interest to volunteer for content production. Another tool is the Mobile Android App EnDevCollect that EnDev designed which can be downloaded under this link on Android devices (enter Code 2zUgfrH for the updated version). The App was designed to solve the issue of data collection of solar installations around the country. Using the App will prevent double installations and also gives the opportunity to support the monitoring and maintenance aspect of already installed renewable energy systems. Saida also emphasized the importance of social media to create awareness for the sector and to promote social engagement. Facebook, twitter and youtube are all tools of Renewables Liberia.

The African Energy Challenge Fund (AECF) has raised great interest from participants but also received criticism for its financial requirement. It has been mentioned that AECF staff will be in Liberia from the 5th November.

The meeting ended with an agreement of an APP training for interested people by the first week of November.

Around 60 different stakeholders participated in the meeting. Ranging from government representatives such as RREA, Ministry of Mines and Energy and Minsitry of Public Works to private sector companies, NGO´s and south African and Swedish embassy staff .

The Power Point Presentation of the meeting can be viewed here.

The next IFREL meeting will be held on the 23rd November 2018. Location and time will be soon communicated, make sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive invitations and updates.