|dc.description.abstract||Rural Electrification in West Africa has remained a challenge for the growth and development of the region. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has set a target of 2030 to achieve approximately 100% electrification in all member countries. Liberia is one of the least electrified countries globally and in the region, where only 19 % of the population has access to electricity, with rural electrification rate just at 1%.
According to the roadmap for Energy Access in Liberia, the existing reference framework in the field of energy policy, the government of Liberia has set a target of 60 % of total primary energy supply from renewable energy in the electricity mix by 2030. The objectives envisioned by the government are to reach an overall national electrification rate of 65% with an urban electrification rate of 85 % and 40 % for the rural case by 2030.
The study presents a conceptualization of the techno-economic feasibility of integrating RETs into the national grid with case study of pump hydro storage (PHS) and electric batteries with solar photovoltaic (PV) in Liberia. The results are explored for an off grid standalone PV plus storage system for a rural setting and a grid connected PV system for an urban setup. The least cost configurations for both the cases are determined using HOMER (Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables). The results highlight and outstates the need of extended solar penetration in Liberia in response to the challenges of low electrification rates in the country.
PV plus pumped hydro storage remains the optimal system architecture as compared to PV plus electric batteries for off grid standalone systems provided the geographic availability of lower and upper reservoirs. The capital cost of PV remains to be the most dominating factor in the cost of optimal system for both the urban and the rural cases, and driving down the costs of PV would have the most positive effect for increased electricity access in the country||en_US