Accra April 20, 2012
Power outages are now an immeasurable inconvenience in the Capital City of Ghana, the frequent power supply failures are not only inconvenient, they are taking their toll on electrical equipment lighting, computers and other household appliances.
As Ghana’s economy steadily grows electrical generation is not able to keep pace with regional demand; however the tables may quickly turn with the Nationwide ability to feed in electricity into the National Grid.
Many Ghanaian’s fortunate to have diesel generators are now among those busy building out sized home and business solar systems and in anticipation for the new legislation changes to go beyond Zero Net Energy. A Feed-In-Tariff System or FIT’s as it is commonly referred to in Europe is in the making.
There are probably more than 5,000 systems already or being planned in the greater Accra area “with more than enough home capacity” says SOLIDEA’s Sam Brobey who recently returned to Accra from the US. “They are building solar because the prices are going down and they need to replace Diesel for which the price is going up”.
Ghana grid energy and typical West African Power Producers [WAPP] costs around 0.11c USD kWh today the sum of recent price hikes but still less than one third of the price of diesel the alternative energy solution. With diesel prices for ever on the increase Sam assumes as much as 0.38c USD kWh is an appropriate cost for his air conditioning this summer when the power goes off.
“Ghana will benefit greatly from the proposed new FIT’s system” says Sam “firstly a lot more power generation can be decentralized, the whole of Ghana and some of its neighboring Countries are relying too heavily on just a few installations”.
Localizing the supply and from many sources helps prevent the power surges responsible for some of the current outages this in itself will help reduce costs to home owners and small businesses, it will allow many more Ghanaian’s to take the energy problem into their own hands and there are a lot of PV systems already in Ghana waiting to be connected to make the initial impact.
Ghana’s big win in the introduction of FIT’s will be foreign energy investment and participation like those proposed by SOLIDEA. New regional projects are now emerging as a soon to be reality like the ambitious Hydrosol One Project which aims to match Ghana’s hydro electric capacity with solar energy. Distributing this energy through a cross border network with Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso will again boost Ghana’s prosperity through export.
The Hydrosol One project based in Ghana is already at the pre-planning stage. The Hydrosol projects sees a string of utility grade Solar power plants with Hydrosol Two having its fields in the Ivory Coast.
“By creating smart new renewable energy grids across the borders we create a wave of prosperity and with our neighbors” says Sam Brobey “the growth of renewable energy can be followed by industry and the safe extraction of the minerals that our countries are rich with”