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Libya

Official Name:
Libya

Energy profile

Libya (2012)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

The electrification of all Libyan towns and cities reached almost 100% of the population as of the year 2005. The Libyan grid is connected to Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia, which have further connections to other networks in Turkey and Morocco with onward links to Europe. The national power utility has indicated that power links with these countries may be developed further, including DC links to European networks, particularly Italy.Libya's power grid consists of roughly 1,037 km of 400 kV lines, 13,548 km of 220 kV transmission lines, with 20,634 km of 66 kV and 30 kV lines, and 32,000 km of 11 kV distribution lines.

Renewable energy potential

Solar energyThe solar regime in Libya is excellent; the daily solar radiation on the horizontal plane reaches 7.5 kWh/m2, with 3000-3500 hours of sunshine a year. There are few conflicts of land use; 88% of Libyan land area is considered desert, and much of this is relatively flat. There is some compromise between access to water, which is available at the coast but where the solar regime is less favourable, against inland sites with excellent solar characteristics, but far from water.1,865 kWp of PV capacity were installed in Libya in 2006. The amount is increasing significantly; in particular, decentralised electricity generation in rural areas is being encouraged. PV systems are also used in agriculture to supply water pumps with electricity instead of using diesel.  Wind energyThe wind regime is also good. The average wind speed at 40m is between 6-7.5 m/s. There are several attractive prospects along the Libyan coast; one such site is at Dernah, where the average wind speed is around 7.5 m/s. A German-Danish consortium was contracted in 2000 by the national power utility to design and construct a 25 MW pilot wind farm. Several appropriate sites were identified and masts were installed to monitor wind conditions over 12 months. Technical specifications for all the components of the pilot wind farm and tender documents for a turn-key installation of the 25 MW facility were prepared. Bids were submitted, but the project was then, for all intents and purposes, abandoned. The public and private sectors, prior to the 2011 revolution, had announced a total of 5 new wind power projects, with a combined capacity of 600 MW. In addition, targets have been set for 2015 to reach 1,000 MW of wind generation capacity. Biomass energyThe estimated biomass potential in the country is 2 TWh/year. Whilst this potential may be suitable for individual residences to exploit for personal power generation, it is deemed to be unsuitable for large-scale electricity generation. Geothermal energyWhilst the potential for large-scale geothermal power generation has not yet been analysed in Libya, studies have been conducted into the potential for Underground Thermal Energy Storage (UTES), whereby excess heat is stored in an underground circulating pipe system. One study has recently been conducted into the possible utilisation of a low-temperature geothermal source near Waddan City, and modelling shows that the local utilisation of the resource for power generation (estimated at 1.3 MW of potential) or refrigeration (1284 tons at 5ºC, or 835 tons at 0ºC), is economically feasible. HydropowerLibya, compared to its other North African neighbours, has a poorly-developed hydropower sub-sector. This is primarily due to the lack of availability of resources in the country for the development of the energy source. There are currently no plans for the exploitation of hydropower in the country. Plans to develop a hydropower installation on the Great Man-Made River Project have not yet come to fruition.

Energy framework

The Renewable Energy Authority of Libya (REAOL) has created a RE roadmap up to 2030, that has been approved by the former Ministry of Electricity and Energy. Long-term plans are to cover 25% of Libya’s energy supply by renewable energies by the year 2025, rising to 30% by 2030. Intermediate targets are 6% by 2015 and 10% by 2020. Targets have also been set for electrical generating capacity from renewable resources, at 10% by 2020, and 30% by 2030.There is no formal government procedure for ensuring that physical development of infrastructure and buildings follows an energy efficient and sustainable path. The Libyan “Five Points Company for Construction and Touristic Investment” has announced that it will sign a contract with the Gulf Finance House to build an “Intelligent Energy City” in Libya, at a cost of US$5 billion. Libyan institutions will bear 40% of the cost, and the Gulf Finance House, 60%. The project will contain centres for databases, environmental assessment and RE, in addition to special compounds for oil and natural gas producing companies, energy sector services and manufacturing industries. Whether this development will actually occur, given the present financial climate and the recent political instability, is uncertain. The lack of concern for EE in transport and spatial planning is another factor to be considered in the country's future energy planning.

Source
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