Libya: energy, the economy and national security
In a very interesting article for About Oil, Paul Sullivan discusses the interlinked nature of energy systems and networks in Libya, highlighting that the oil and gas aspects of Libya’s energy problems are far more well-known than the problems it has on the ground with electricity security and reliability.
Centralized electricity grids in Libya have been a target over recent years, and the country has paid heavily for these attacks. Blackouts are rather common in the country. When a section of a large grid is shut down due to an attack or electricity diversion the electricity system still has to make sure that supply and demand of electricity are equal at all times. When they are not balanced the system can shut down or become unstable. Attacks on interconnections, including those tall pylons used to transmit electricity over long distances, between regions are not uncommon. When these happen the overall systems become unstable and could and often does blackout or brown out. The electricity generation has to go somewhere, and if that somewhere is not there the system becomes unstable and could crash. Industry, hospitals, schools, the government, households, commerce, water treatment and transport, banking and finance, communications and more rely greatly on electricity. When electricity is not reliably available, many of these sectors of the economy are further damaged and economic and political risks increase – and people can lose jobs and hope. Which could lead into generating a spiral of further instability and violence. Energy systems reliability and development are directly tied to peace and prosperity of a country.
Click here to read the full article.