Energy Capital & Power

Harnessing the Desert Sun: Libya’s Vision for a Cleaner Future

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renewable energy. solar energy. libya

With 88% of its expansive terrain characterized by desert, Libya has significant potential to shift toward renewable energy. Wind data analysis shows average speeds of 6-7.7 meters per second at 40 meters above ground level, underscoring the nation’s strong wind power potential. In terms of solar power potential, Libya boasts approximately 3,200 annual brightness hours and an average radiation of 6 KWh per m2 per day. For reference, each km2 of desert in the country receives solar energy equivalent to 1.5 million barrels of crude oil annually.

Under its Strategic Plan for Renewable Energy 2013–2025, the Libyan Government has aimed for a 10% contribution from renewables to its energy mix by 2025 and 30% by 2030. Embracing renewable energy solutions marks a pivotal move for the country, whose power generation capacity has been fueled by oil and natural gas to date.

Anticipating a surge in energy requirements, the Renewable Energy Authority of Libya (REAoL) has launched several ambitious projects to grow national grid capacity. Focus has predominantly centered on solar projects, such as the 50 MW Bani Walid Solar PV Park, which is set to begin construction in 2024 and commercial operation in 2025. A 115 MW solar power plant in Tajura and a 100 MW solar power plant in Kufra are also in the construction phase.

To facilitate renewable energy investments, the government has forged several agreements with global energy players. At the Libya Energy & Economic Summit in 2021, REAoL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with TotalEnergies, in collaboration with the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL), to develop the 500 MW Sadada solar PV park in Al-Sadada. The project is poised to be the country’s largest, leveraging cutting-edge solar technology with up to 1.2 million solar panels and generating 152 TWh annually. TotalEnergies has expressed confidence in navigating Libya’s current regulatory framework, emphasizing the project’s commitment to delivering cleaner and more reliable power.

Last February, REAoL embarked on another noteworthy venture – the 1 MW Tawergha solar project  – in partnership with the German GTG Holding consortium and German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy. The project, poised to be delivered in 2025, will serve as a model for other solar pilot projects. Stakeholders conducted a field visit last April to discuss project requirements, with a view to completing all preliminary studies. Other private sector-led projects include the development of a 200 MW solar power plant in Ghadames by GECOL and AG Energy. A recent MOU between UAE-based Alpha Dhabi Holding and GECOL aims to construct two additional solar plants in Libya, with a target capacity of 2 GW.  

Notably, Libya’s vision for its renewable energy sector transcends its borders and aims to capitalize on its strategic position as the North African gateway to Europe. Last June, the country signed an MOU with Malta outlining plans for a renewable energy interconnector project between the two countries that would facilitate solar power exports to Malta, with the potential to expand to other destinations. Libya’s Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohammed Oun, has emphasized the country’s capacity to supply Europe with renewable energy, which aligns with shared commitments to environmental responsibility and carbon emission reductions. This development could set the stage for further energy trade between Libya and Europe, aligning with the continent’s quest for new energy sources to attain energy security and meet its net zero targets.

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LIBYA ENERGY & ECONOMIC SUMMIT 2024

The Libya Energy & Economic Summit 2024 represents the second edition of this important investment platform. Organized by Energy Capital & Power, LEES 2024 takes place from 13 – 14 January, with the endorsement and support of the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Oil and Gas, and the National Oil Corporation. For information about participating as an official delegation, contact james@energycapitalpower.com.  For information about sponsorship options, contact sales@energycapitalpower.comFor information about registration, contact registration@energycapitalpower.com

LIBYA ENERGY & ECONOMIC SUMMIT 2024

The Libya Energy & Economic Summit 2024 represents the second edition of this important investment platform. Organized by Energy Capital & Power, LEES 2024 takes place from 13 – 14 January, with the endorsement and support of the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Oil and Gas, and the National Oil Corporation. For information about participating as an official delegation, contact james@energycapitalpower.com.  For information about sponsorship options, contact sales@energycapitalpower.comFor information about registration, contact registration@energycapitalpower.com

Anne Laure Klein

Anne Laure Klein

Anne-Laure Klein works as a field editor for Energy Capital & Power. She graduated in Political Science with a Master's degree in International Relations and geopolitics. Before joining ECP, she worked as a Senior Account manager for International Tech and Energy companies. She is from French, Syrian and Italian descent, and fluently speaks English, French, Spanish and Italian. On a personal level, she is a seasoned traveler and has visited more than 110 countries.

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