Ghana has a significant need for additional electric generation capacity, to provide reliable energy to residents and businesses, and promote economic development. In 2012, about 74 percent of Ghanaian residents had access to electricity, including all regional and district capitals and 4,813 communities, and rolling blackouts (i.e., load shedding) were and still are common.
Many rural areas either do not have access to the national electrical grid, or are only able to receive intermittent electricity from the system. The maximum installed generation capacity available in the grid in 2014 was 2,831 megawatts (MW), but the Average Dependable capacity was 2,552 MW and the Average Available capacity was only 1,482 MW. Even with construction of new planned facilities in 2015, there is estimated to be a 200 to 300 MW deficit in capacity to keep the rolling blackouts from becoming worse. If one wished to avoid the current rolling blackouts completely, it is estimated that an additional 800 to 1,000 MW of generation capacity is needed.
Over the past year, Praxis Africa has explored small-scale, renewable, sustainable electric generation technologies that can provide the local energy needed in rural Ghana. A technology review and business plan was prepared, and Dr. Gregory Poremba presented the results of that assessment at the 1st international conference on DEVELOPING LOCAL GOVERNANCE CAPACITY TO PROMOTE PARTNERSHIP & FOSTER ENTREPRENEURSHIP in June 2015. Dr. Poremba (pictured here) and Dr. Delore Zimmerman also appeared live on Business Television Africa (BTA) to discuss rural development options to meet local needs.
Poremba, Zimmerman and Tony Mensah-Abrampah, Ghana Country Director, are now meeting with government officials, traditional leaders, and businesses; creating development teams; searching for funding; and identifying potential sites to construct several biogas electric generation facilities to meet rural Ghanaian electrical needs.