Did you know that solar energy is an abundant resource throughout Ghana and with up to 3000hrs of sunshine per annum, solar solutions could effectively supplement on-grid solutions and offer new opportunities to off-grid populations? However, Ghana’s power industry is fraught with many challenges such as high cost of gas, operation and maintenance difficulties resulting in huge debt.
“Based on this backdrop, it is time government changes the status quo and encourage investments in renewable energy sources such solar power.”
This is a proposal by Dr. Kwadwo Tutu, an expert in solar energy at the University of Ghana at a study validation workshop by the United Nations University-Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) with funding from Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC).
The research jointly conducted by Dr. Kwadwo Tutu and Dr. David Twerefo was dubbed: The Potential of Solar Energy in Ghana: Stakeholder Uptake and Business Case as Alternative Energy Source. The workshop, held on the 18th July 2018, was to validate a research carried out and inform development of appropriate sustainable policy interventions.
The research revealed that energy use is linked directly linked to economic growth and living standards. With a country’s development having a significant dependence on modern energy such as electricity & petroleum-based fuels, as a country grows and develops, its use of modern energy increases. Thus, high consumption of non-renewable energy is unsustainable and has negative consequences on the environment. Renewable energies are sustainable, environmentally clean, especially solar, wind and wave. They are also free apart from the technology converting the power into energy.
Explaining the findings of their research, Dr. Kwadwo Tutu stressed the need for government to develop its renewable energy potentials to support the national grid. He noted that, government through its agencies such as the Ministry of Energy and the Energy Commission must develop proactive fiscal, regulatory and financial stimuli in collaboration with private sector to ensure a smooth take off.
Dr. Tutu revealed that, many consumers are willing to pay more for solar energy due to its reliability. However, due to the cost of solar power, they are left with no other choice than to stick to the national grid. On the way forward, Dr. Tutu called for development of major policy initiatives that can be leveraged upon to drive interest and encourage investment.
The Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) is a pioneering business incubator whose objective is to support entrepreneurs and ventures involved in developing profitable and locally appropriate solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Ghana. The Centre’s key focus is on building businesses operating within the areas of energy efficiency, domestic waste management, solar energy, water supply management and purification and climate-smart agriculture. GCIC is part of the World Bank Group’s infoDev Climate Technology Program. Supported by the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, the Centre is managed by a consortium led by the Ashesi University and including Ernst & Young, SNV Ghana, and the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.