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Ghana

Renewable Energy Potential

Ghana is looking to diversify its power resources, as its current reliance on hydropower makes it particularly vulnerable to droughts. As part of the renewable energy targets, the government has set the following objectives for renewable energy:

  • 150-300 MW of small and medium hydro
  • two million solar lanterns
  • 30,000 solar home systems
  • 20-26 MW of utility-scale biomass and waste energy capacity
  • 150-250 MW of utility-scale wind and 50-150 MW of utility-scale solar capacity

 

Physical potential

Average solar irradiation ranges from 4.5-6.0 kWh/m2/day, with the highest levels mostly in the north of the country, and the amount of sunshine ranges from 1,800-3,000 hours annually. A total of 8 MW of grid-connected installations were operational at the end of 2014, and so far only one utility-scale solar PV facility (20 MW) is under construction, but the Energy Commission has issued provisional licenses for more than 1.8 GW of generating capacity.

 

http://solargis.info/doc/_pics/freemaps/1000px/ghi/SolarGIS-Solar-map-Ghana-en.png

Source: solargis

 

Ghana has significant hydropower potential that is currently being utilised by the Akosombo, Kpong and Bui hydro plants, which supply a total of 1,580 MW. At present, there are 22 small and 17 medium-sized unexploited sites with capacities ranging from 15-100 MW and a combined total capacity of around 800 MW.

 

Regarding biomass, Ghana has a strong potential for biofuel production – thanks to energy crops such as jatropha and oil palm fruit. Significant investments have been made in the production of both and the Government has plans to further increase production. A recent study ranked Ghana as Africa’s leading producer of biodiesel from jatropha. Another investigation highlighted the country’s potential for biodiesel production from oil palm fruit, in which it is also one of the leaders in Africa, based on the increase in production over the last ten years. Biomass co-generation plants, which use sawmill residue and oil palm waste have a total capacity of over 6 MW.

 

The wind potential in Ghana is seen as marginal – average annual wind speeds are 4-6m/s at 50m above sea level along the coast and on some islands. However, some areas near the border with Togo have wind speeds above 8m/s. Wind resource assessments were conducted at eight sites along the coast between 2011 and 2013. The results are shown in the table below, which depicts the average monthly wind speed at 60m elevation. This highlights the potential for development of around 300 MW of wind farm capacity.

http://energycom.gov.gh/files/Graph-Average%20Monthly%20Wind%20Speed%20at%2060m%20at%208%20Sites%20along%20the%20Coast%20of%20Ghana%20-%20April%202014.pdf

Source: Energy Commission Ghana, 2014

 

Key figures

Available statistics:
Capital
Accra
Official language
English
Population (2015 est.), m.
26.33
Compound Annual (GDP) Growth Rate, (2011-2015), %
6.1
Population growth (2015 est.), %
2.18
GDP per capita (2015), USD (current rate)
1,381.4
Rural population (2015 est.), % of total
46
Ease of Doing Business Index (2015)
70 (of 189)
Median age of population, (2014 est.) years
20.9
Inflation (2014), %
17
National currency
Cedi (GHS)
Installed generation capacity (2014 ets.), MW
2,831
Installed fossil fuel capacity (2014), MW
1,248
Hydro capacity (2014), MW
1,580
Other RE capacity (2014), MW
2.5
Renewable electricity output (2014), in % of total electricity output excl. hydroelectric
0.1
Capacity target for 2016, MW
5,000
Average distribution and transmission losses (2014), in % of output
4.3
Net electricity imports (2013 est.), GWh
27
Peak demand (2014), MW
2,179.5
Per capita electricity consumption (2014), kWh
1,442.8
Electrification rate, total (2012), %
64
Electrification rate, urban (2012), %
85
Electrification rate, rural (2012), %
41
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