Modeling the transition towards sustainable energy system for Ghana
Aglina, Moses Kwame (2017)
Aglina, Moses Kwame
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This research involves the modeling of the energy system of Ghana towards renewable technologies. The main objectives of this study was to examine the composition of Ghana’s current energy system, model a ten percent renewable energy in the energy mix and finally model a minimum thirty percent renewable energy in the mix by 2030, while investigating the impact of the models on cost and environment. To achieve the objectives set out in this work, past studies conducted on the topic were extensively but not exhaustively reviewed for an insight to the research area. A secondary data was sourced and the models built by the Long – range Energy Alternative Planning (LEAP) tool by the Stockholm Environment Institute of USA. The results show that Ghana’s current energy system is comprised mainly of thermal plants and hydroelectricity dams. The current system is cost intensive due to oil and gas imports that makes it difficult to meet the energy demands of the people, thereby forcing the system operators to engage in load shedding. Renewable energy potential of Ghana is high, especially utility scale solar, however, due to low incentives and little government commitments, renewable energy has little share in the energy mix. The research further revealed that if interest rates and inflation can be brought to the barest minimum, renewable energies could become cost competitive in Ghana in near future. If renewable energy could provide about 30% of Ghana’s electricity, energy related emissions would be reduced significantly because thermal plants are the main pollution sources in the energy mix. Although the cost recovery factors used in the cost calculations are based on Finnish projections, it was concluded that renewable energies could become Ghana’s energy sources if government further incentivize private power producers to generate renewable energy electricity.