Ghana’s renewables push
(3 Feb 2023) Soaring energy demand means the West African country must act fast to avoid another energy crisis.
With fast-growing energy demand and most of its electricity coming from fossil fuels, Ghana’s government is eager to develop renewable power.
Between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s, Ghana was heavily reliant on the Akosombo dam to meet its electricity demand. Then, as changing rainfall patterns lowered water levels, other, mainly thermal, sources of power were developed.
Now, a big push is underway to increase solar power generation, sometimes utilising reservoirs behind hydropower dams. The government wants 10% of electricity generation from solar by 2030. This is ambitious: foreign direct investment in the country has been falling, and excluding big hydro, less than 1% of generation is currently from renewables.
The Bui dam
In 2007, Emmanuel Appiah was a young graduate running an internet café. “I couldn’t afford to run it eight hours a day without electricity from the grid,” he said. “I lost my first business.”