Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Ghana is relatively well endowed with a variety of energy resources including biomass, hydrocarbons, hydropower, solar and wind. It also has the capacity to produce modern biofuels. In terms of primary energy consumption in 2011, 6,138 ktoe (54.2%) was from woodfuels, 3,767 ktoe (33.3%) from oil, 772 ktoe (6.8%) from natural gas, and 650 ktoe (5.7%) from hydro. The total energy consumption was 11,327 ktoe, which is equivalent to 0.47 ktoe per capita (Energy Commission, 2012). The vision of the energy sector is to develop an “Energy Economy” to secure a reliable supply of high quality energy services for all sectors of the Ghanaian economy and also to become a major exporter of oil and power by 2012 and 2015 respectively (Energy Commission, 2010a).

ISEES is committed to promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency by educating people about the need to switch to renewable energy and maintain efficient use of energy. We develop and promote technologies in that help manage the use of resources – water-energy-food nexus.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy are often referred to as the “twin pillars” of Ghana’s sustainable energy policy. With respect to the promotion of energy efficiency, the Legislative Instrument LI 1815 Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling (Non-Ducted Air-conditioners and Self Ballasted Fluorescent Lamps) Regulations, was passed in 2005 promote the use of energy efficient air conditioners and fluorescent lamps. In 2008, a follow-up Legislative Instrument – LI 1932 Energy Efficiency (Prohibition of Manufacture, Sale or Importation of Incandescent Filament Lamp, Used Refrigerator, Used Refrigerator-Freezer, Used Freezer and Used Airconditioner) Regulations – was passed to discourage the use of incandescent lamps, used refrigeration appliances and used air conditioners. This was again followed in 2009 by the passage of the Legislative Instrument LI 1958 Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling (Household Refrigerating Appliances) Regulations. In 2011, Ghana also passed the Renewable Energy Act, 2011 (Act 832) to support the development, utilization and efficient management of renewable energy sources. The Act seeks to increase the proportion of renewable energy including solar, wind and biomass in the national energy supply mix and to contribute to the mitigation of climate change. A follow-up Country Action Plan on “Sustainable Energy for All”, with emphasis on the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Ghana has been implementing an Appliance Efficiency Programme since 2005, commencing with developing standards on air-conditioners and CFL lamps. In recent years, Ghana has also developed standards on refrigerators and freezers, following the successful implementation CFL replacement project by Government during the energy crisis of 2006. Similar projects are planned for electric fans and other household appliances that have energy-saving potential.

The main challenges with respect to the SE4ALL goal of doubling improvements in energy efficiency are:

  • Weak collection and management of data on appliances with energy-saving potential;
  • Lack of comprehensive long-term public education;
  • Lack of appliance standards and regulations (e.g. on televisions, electric fans etc.); and
  • Poor regulation of imports of second-hand machinery, equipment and household appliances.