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Ghana steps up solar energy in bid to meet renewables target

Like many African nations, Ghana has been enduring hot temperatures and irregular rain patterns that are affecting agriculture. The government is aiming to achieve 10 percent renewable energy in the power mix by 2030 as part of efforts to slash carbon emissions.

As part of this initiative, the Bui Power Authority, a government agency, is building a solar farm valued at US$480 million. It’s expected to generate an impressive 250 kilowatts of clean energy.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has also commissioned a 13-kilowatt solar power project in Kaleo,  in Ghana’s Upper West Region.

Rising investments

Organisations are contributing to the fight against climate change by pouring significant investments into solar energy.

One example is the Eusbett Hotel, in Sunyani – the capital of the Bono Region. The hotel is reducing its environmental footprint by heavily relying on solar energy to meet its power needs.

“We decided to go for renewable energy to reduce emissions and we embedded it in our 10-year corporate strategy,” hotel manager Robert Mensahtold RFI.

“We opted for a 200-kilowatt system that ensures that throughout the day we are on solar.”

Pax Garments, a part of Sunyani’s Catholic church, specialises in producing T-shirts, cassocks for the clergy, and embroidery works for various organisations. It’s also made significant investments in solar energy.

Pax chief executive, Father Peter Yaw Oppong-Kumi, said solar power was more cost effective as well as environmentally friendly.

“We are gradually reducing emissions. This is what we can also do to fight climate change. The cost of using electricity was so huge for us so we decided to look for an alternative,” Oppong-Kumi said.

“We installed 50 kilowatts which we use for all our work. It cost us €100,000.”

Absa Bank Ghana has played a pivotal role in bolstering the country’s bid to diversify its energy mix. A US$24 million corporate green loan has helped boost Ghana’s clean energy transition.

Ellen Ohene-Afoakwa, Absa’s director of corporate and investment banking, said the bank was increasingly focused on clean energy and climate change mitigation.

“Absa is dedicated to supporting Africa’s clean energy revolution, recognising its potential to foster job creation, stimulate economic growth, and alleviate poverty in the region,” Ohene-Afoakwa said.

Floating plant

Ghana has commissioned a 5 megawatt floating solar plant in on the reservoir of the Bui hydroelectric dam in Ghana’s Bono region. It is first of its kind in West Africa.

There are plans to scale the capacity up to 65 megawatts in the coming years.

Samuel Gyamfi, from the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani, said the country was on track to achieve its renewable targets.

“We can achieve 10 percent renewable energy penetration by 2030 if the right policies are put in place by the government,” he said.

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