About 67 communities in the Afram Plains South are set to receive standalone solar energy systems, as the government and United State Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a grant.
The grant, which is being awarded through the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Energy is to provide a feasibility study to actualize the project.
In the signing of the MoU, at the U.S –Ghana Business Forum, the Sub-Sahara Regional Director of USTDA, Lida M. Fitts said, “the Ministry of Energy will competitively select a US firm to complete the study.”
“The grant would help Ghana to achieve its impressive goal of providing a 100 percent access to electricity in the country, and will help US companies get into off-grid energy market in the country.”
The USTDA and Ghana aim to use financing from the EXIM Bank of the United States of America to implement the project.
The current access rate of electricity in the country is about 83 percent. An estimated 1.2 million of households are presently without power supply.
Ghana aims to have at least, 10 percent of its energy sourced from renewable sources by 2020.
Currently, the energy mix is composed of 62 percent (2620 MW) thermal, 37 percent (1580 MW) of hydroelectric and one percent (22.5 MW) of renewable. This presents an opportunity for investments in the development and use of other biomass technologies, including biogas, biofuels, gasification and waste- energy.
The country’s investment plans to transform and promote its renewable energy sector have received support from the Scaling-Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) fund.
A total of US$ 230 million, including US$ 40 million from SREP, is used for four key projects: renewable energy mini-grids and stand-alone solar PV systems; solar PV-based net metering storage; utility-scale solar PV/wind power generation; and a technical assistance project (supported by the Sustainable Energy for All Fund – SEFA).
This infusion funding will help scale up and leverage private and public financial resources to build the country’s solar sector.
By Joshua W. Amlanu