Liberia-NREL Biomass Resource Assessment
"Biomass resources meet about 99.5% of the Liberian population’s energy needs so they are vital to basic welfare and economic activity. Already, traditional biomass products like firewood and charcoal are the primary energy source used for domestic cooking and heating. However, other more efficient biomass technologies are available that could open opportunities for agriculture and rural development, and provide other socio-economic and environmental benefits.
The main objective of this study is to estimate the biomass resources currently and potentially available in the country and evaluate their contribution for power generation and the production of transportation fuels. It intends to inform policy makers and industry developers of the biomass resource availability in Liberia, identify areas with high potential, and serve as a base for further, more detailed site-specific assessments. A variety of biomass resources exist in the country in large quantities and with opportunities for expansion. The study found that these resources are more than enough to cover the country’s annual electricity consumption of 297 GWh and oil consumption of 206 dam3. While the contribution of food crop residues, animal manure, and municipal solid waste is small in comparison to other resources at a national level, they could play a valuable role in stand-alone electricity applications and be particularly effective for households in remote rural areas. On the other hand, cash crop and forest residues, resulting mainly from medium and large enterprises, provide opportunities for large-scale centralized power generation.
The study considers potential biomass resources and the expansion of key existing resources, such as oil palm, coconut, and sugarcane, to evaluate their fuel and power production potential on available cropland. It is unrealistic to assume that all of this land would be used for cash crop cultivation. A portion of it may go under afforestation to maintain forest ecosystems and their unique biodiversity, or be used for food crops production and other agricultural activities, or be converted to urban land. Therefore, the study evaluates the fuel and power production potential of biomass resources under three scenarios: using 10%, 25%, and 50% of the available cropland for cash crop expansion."