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Improving electricity supply security in Ghana—The potential of renewable energy

Gyamfi, S., Modjinou, M. and Djordjevic, S. (2015) Improving electricity supply security in Ghana—The potential of renewable energy. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 43 . pp. 1035-1045.

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For decades, Ghana’s economy has been fuelled by abundant inexpensive hydropower. As a developing economy, Ghana’s electricity demand has long been relatively low, though rising in recent times due to increasing economic growth, urbanization and industrial activities. However, the rapid demand growth, as well as periodic hydrological shocks, leaves the country increasingly reliant on expensive oil and gas-based generation power plants, with a resultant drain on the national economy. The main electricity generation company, the Volta River Authority, is not able to generate enough electricity for all the demand sectors. The electricity supply-demand margins - the difference between peak demand and available supply - of the country fall short of the recommended engineering practice and thus presents a high supply security risk. The country has been experiencing an increase in the frequency of power cuts over the last ten years. It is clear that Ghana will have to expand and diversify its generation capacity in order to improve supply security. This paper provides a review of the assessed potential renewable energy resources, their current exploitation status, and their potential contribution to the electricity supply of the country. The paper also presents the barriers to their utilization and the existing policy and regulatory instruments to overcome those barriers, plus the current and expected future impacts of these instruments. The results show that Ghana has several RES, such as wind, solar PV, mini hydro and modern biomass that can be exploited for electricity production. While their exploitation for electricity generation is currently very low, providing just 0.13% of the country’s generation, the review shows a great potential for RES generation to increase substantially over the next decade, looking at the government commitment and legal frameworks that are being put in place.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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