Energy Sector

Electricity generation

As of 2015, the biggest issue for economic growth is the lack of consistent electricity. In 2012, hydropower including pumped storage accounted for 55.8% of the total electricity supply, thermal plants using light crude oil, natural gas, and diesel accounted for 44.1%, and solar power only 0.1%. Although the share of hydropower generation decreased by about 0.5% in 2011, total energy output rose by about 500 GWh in 2012 due to significant water inflows into the Akosombo reservoir. In 2012, electricity consumption in the industrial, residential, and commercial sectors accounting for 48.5%, 34.3%, and 17% respectively.

As part of the electricity sector strategy, the Government is working on attracting more private sector participation. The market has been dominated by the public sector, but an increasing number of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have begun to enter the market, as per table illustrated below.

Installed capacity by state and independent power producers:
(VRA = Volta River Authority; BPA = Bui River Authority; IPP = independent power producer)

    Nameplate* Dependable**  
Akosombo – VRA Water 1,02 900 2065
Bui – BPA Water 400 342 2065
Kpong – VRA Water 160 140 2042
Sub-Total   1,58 1,382  
Takoradi Power Company (TAPCO) – VRA LCO/Natural gas 378 300 2011
Takoradi International Company (TICO) − IPP LCO/Natural gas 252 200 2013
Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited (SAPP) − IPP Natural gas 220 180 2035
Cenit Energy Ltd (CEL) − IPP LCO/Natural gas 126 110 2037
Tema Thermal 1 Power Plant (TT1PP) – VRA LCO/Natural gas 126 110 2014
Tema Thermal 2 Power Plant (TT2PP) − IPP Natural gas 49.5 45 2035
Takoradi T3 − VRA LCO 132 120 2038
Mines Reserve Plant (MRP) − IPP Diesel/gas 85 80 2032
Effasu Power Barge Natural gas 125 100 n/a
Sub-Total   1,494 1,245  
Genser Power − IPP LPG 5 2.1***
Sub-Total   5 02. Jan  
VRA Solar Solar 02. Mai 01. Sep
Sub-total   02. Mai 01. Sep  
TOTAL 3,081.00 2,631.00

Source: Energy Commission of Ghana, 2014

*This information is available from the Technical Division of the Energy Commission.
** This information is based on extensive operational experience, and is provided by the utilities (VRA, etc.).

Over the last two decades, demand for electricity has grown by 10-15% annually, due to the expanding industrial and commercial sectors as well as high population growth. Forecasts project that electricity demand will continue to grow at an annual rate of at least 7%

Although efforts are under way to introduce non-conventional energy sources such as solar across the country, the proportion of households using solar powered lighting only rose from 0.1% in 2000 to 0.2% in 2010. The Upper West region had the highest proportion of solar energy users (0.7%).

Utility tariffs rose steadily in 2014, and as of October 2014 were as follows:

Electricity tariffs effective from 1 October 2014, Gp (Ghana pesewas; GHS 1 = Gp 100)
Non-residential 0-300 (Gp/kWh) 59.24
  301-600 (Gp/kWh) 63.04
  601+ (Gp/kWh) 99.47
  Service charge (Gp/month) 645.88
Residential 0-50 (exclusive) (Gp/kWh) 20.54
  51-300 (Gp/kWh) 41.21
  301-600 (Gp/kWh) 53.48
  601+ (Gp/kWh) 59.42
  Service charge (Gp/month) 387.53

Source: Public Utilities Regulatory Commission 2014

Transmission and distribution network

The transmission and distribution network is operated by state-owned enterprises. There is one transmission company, Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), and two distribution companies with regional responsibilities – Northern Electricity Department (NED) covers the north of the country and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) serves the south. Energy produced at generating stations is transmitted through an interconnected transmission network at 69kV (138.8km), 161kV (4,030.6km), 225kV (74.3km) and 330kV (219km). GRIDCo is responsible for operating the National Interconnected Transmission System (NITS), for bulk electricity purchases from generators and for sales to NED and ECG.

The main electricity producer, Volta River Authority (VRA), is a state-owned electricity utility that owns and operates thermal and hydropower plants, and supplies electricity to GRIDCo.

Source: GRIDCo