The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in partnership with the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) is funding a feasibility study on renewable energies development, for a Pilot Project implementation in Ghana.
Dr Christoph Rövekamp, the Head of Division 722 Basic Energy Research at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), announced this at the opening section of a regional stakeholders’ consultation workshop held in Accra-Ghana on Thursday, July 26th, 2018. He said funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), would support a joint scientific team of experts from research institutions in Ghana and Germany to seek inputs from, and to collaborate with industry and civil society in the energy sector, including the Energy Commission, Electricity Company of Ghana, GRIDCo, the Kumasi Institute of Technology Energy and Environment (KITE), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Centre for Climate Change and Gender Studies of the University of Energy and Natural Resources at Sunyani, the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at KNUST, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana Legon, and a research institution based in Germany. Dr Rovekamp explained that the broad objective of the feasibility study was to conduct a detailed technical and financial assessment of renewable energies, focusing on technologies and their applications in all sectors of the country, and to produce a comprehensive report. He said it was envisaged that a period of six months (July to December 2018), was required to undertake all the three phases of the assessment, including the two workshops and production of the feasibility study report.
Mr Fredrick Appiah, the Chief Programmes Officer at the Energy Commission, said the country was currently considering other cheaper energy sources as hydro power had become unsustainable due to the impact of climate change on the environment. Hence the various interventions including the Renewable Energy Act 832, has paved the way for private sector participation, while the Fund set for this purpose was yet to be operationalized.
Dr Savadogo, the Executive Director of WASCAL, expressed appreciation to the donors for getting the project on course.
Mr. Hans-Helge Sander, the Deputy Head of Missions of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ghana, underscored the importance of renewable energy mix into the country’s electricity grid to ensure sustainable power supply for national development. He however said there was no need to reinvent the wheel which could result in duplications, but urged the experts to build on existing programmes, sourcing for available data and information from institutions that were already working on similar projects, in order to identify the gaps that needed to be addressed. He urged the researchers to also explore new areas such as technology transfer, as well as the limitations of Ghana’s Local Content Law on renewable energy, and its effect on industry. Mr Sander expressed his appreciation to the Energy Commission for Championing the Project, and the CSIR and other stakeholder institutions for their partnership.
The Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI) would however, provide the overall coordination and management of the project activities, ensuring that all deliverables were provided timely and according to design.