Environmental, Economic, and Social Impacts of Expanding a Micro-grid from the University of Liberia to Surrounding Communities


Team Members

Hamidreza Tavafoghi Jahromi, Velma Lopez, and Maryam Arbabzadeh


Jose Alfaro

Project Summary

In Liberia, 9 out of 10 Liberians do not have access to electricity, and the lack of basic infrastructure is a significant challenge in addressing this issue. The project team proposed sustainable solutions to electric rates and power reliability at the University of Liberia, and the surrounding communities. The team’s assessment and proposal used a combination of natural resources in Liberia (e.g., solar, biomass, and wind) and diesel fuel to propose a feasible micro-grid. A key factor in implementing a micro-grid is assessing the electrical demand necessary, and the natural resources potential for electricity. Using the results of the assessment, the team proposed goals to address this issue.

The team hypothesized that increased access to electricity will lead to reductions in gender inequality over time. Using a sustainable development framework incorporating the environment, economics, and society, women’s empowerment is a precursor to downstream social impacts, as women play a key role in the betterment of community, household, and child health and well-being. With the predicted changes to women’s empowerment, the team anticipates that expanding the dialogue of renewable energy programs will include important aspects of sustainable development beyond the physical environment.