Africa’s Biggest Power Plant to Built in Ghana

Ghana solar power plant

Ghana is to see a significant rise in energy capacity, as well as the creation of hundreds of jobs, thanks to the building of the continent’s largest solar power plant.

A British company, Blue Energy, is leading the project which will increase the country’s energy capacity by 6% at a cost of $400m. The site will consist of 630,000 photovoltaic panels capable of procuring 155 megawatts of power, making it the fourth largest in the world. Construction should begin towards the end of next year and finish in the winter of 2015.

The project will benefit from the government’s feed-in tariff scheme, which was introduced in 2011 as a step towards having renewables provide at least 10% of the national energy mix by the end of the decade.

Blue Energy’s chief executive, Chris Dean, said:

Ghana’s forward-thinking strategy puts it in a strong position to lead the renewable energy revolution in sub-Saharan Africa. [The project] is a case study in how governments can unlock the huge potential for solar energy in Africa. We are delighted that it will make a strong contribution to the national economy, provide much needed generating capacity and help develop the skills of the future.

In the past, prohibitive costs have stifled demand for solar power in Africa however, the recent dramatic falls in the price of solar panels, which have been cause for disputes between the EU and China this year, have made projects such as this possible in countries such as Ghana.

Ash Sharma, an analyst with IMS Research said:

The reason the technology hasn’t taken off so far is that it has been too expensive, but the costs of solar have decreased dramatically in the last two years, they’ve fallen by 40% plus, and this has really enabled it to be used in emerging regions in Africa and Asia.

Despite this, there have been heavy blows recently for African solar projects. Most notably the Desertec initiative, intended to eventually supply Europe with 15% of its energy using solar plants in North Africa, lost two of its industrial backers when Siemens and Bosch pulled their support last month.

Green Steve’s Reaction

It is great news that countries such as Ghana are coming to the renewable energy table as the prices have dropped. Africa is one of the more sun rich continents so solar is an ideal solution for the growing energy needs here.

Steve (156 Posts)

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