The German government, through its Renewable Energy Programme, is supporting the construction of a 12 megawatt solar plant in the Upper West Region to contribute to the national grid as the country intensifies the search for more sources to generate power to support the growing demand.
Germany is providing the funding through its development bank, KfW, amounting to 22.8 million euros to the Volta River Authority (VRA) towards the project which is currently at the feasibility stage.
The German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Ruediger John, who disclosed this at the opening of the 4th West African Clean Energy and Environment Exhibition and Conferences (WACEE 2015), said the project was to serve as a benchmark and a demonstration to the private sector and other players about how solar energy worked.
Mr Ruediger said as the country was in the process of considering its energy strategy to meet the urgent needs of the future, beyond the short-term necessities, “Germany has a lot of solutions to offer to make energy supply in Ghana more reliable and sustainable.”
The German ambassador, whose country has made significant contributions to the country’s renewable energy development space – said a decentralised renewable energy and distributed generation, such as photovoltaic installations on rooftops, could have a combined effect of significantly reducing the load, as well as saving home owners and businesses some of the cost for diesel.
A delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana, Mr Patrick Martens, said WACEE had become the leading fair on renewable and waste management in West Africa, adding that the platform would offer additional value to its patrons.
He said the fair had the backing of the German government, the Konrad Adeneur Foundation and its industrialised state, North Rhine Westpherlia, offering the fair the highest endorsement in Germany, culminating in the German Pavilion.
WACEE is taking place concurrently with the Ghana Renewable Energy Fair organised in collaboration with the Energy Commission.
The Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkoh, said the government had identified renewable energy based mini-grids and stand alone renewable energy solutions as one of the promising options to achieve universal access to electricity.
He said the passage of the Renewable Energy Act, 2011 (Act 832), which received a lot of technical support from the German technical cooperation (giz), had resulted in a surge by investors to exploit the country’s renewable energy potential.
He announced that the Volta River Authority was also undertaking feasibility studies for a 75 MW wind park along the eastern coast of the Greater Accra Region to generate electricity from wind, adding that a number of Independent Power Producers were also working on many wind, solar and waste-to-energy projects.
Visitors to the 4th West African Clean Energy & Environment Exhibition and Conference also benefited from a German Solar training. The German Pavilion also served a masterpiece with 12 companies exhibiting excellent products, as well as the about 70 prominent speakers who were invited to speak at the conferences on the sidelines.
The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in cooperation with the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) are supporting the official German Participation, giving and to offer their renowned services to key players and decision makers from all over West Africa.