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Progress towards Solar PV Power Generational Goal in Ghana

byMahu Se8eth Ac7ogbeverwee (smaiagbexcxhnve@yahoo.com), Ghana (PPRE 2005/07)
Deputy Director of RE Dept in Ministry

In December 2011, Government of Ghana passed the Renewable Energy Law (Act 832) to provide the legal and fiscal frameworks for the promotion and development of the country’s renewable energy resources. To further enhance the enabling environment, key policy instruments including the Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff (RE-FiT) was developed and first gazetted in 2013. These instruments deepened interest by the private sector to invest in the industry. Within a space of 4 years, over 76 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) applied and were issued with Provisional Licenses by the Energy Commission-the main Technical Regulator. The total capacity of renewable energy proposed by these IPPs was in excess of 4500MW for a country whose total grid capacity is just about 3000MW. Solar represented over 65% of the total potentially installed capacity.

Despite the overwhelming interest, only 2.5MW of installed utility-scale solar PV was actually connected to the national grid by end of 2014. This plant is owned and operated the Volta River Authority, VRA.

A number of factors including perceived industry risks, solvency of off-takers accounted for the slow actualization. To avert any potential setback of the industry, a major review to establish capacity caps especially for the variable renewable energy technologies (mainly solar and wind) was carried out. This necessitated a review of the RE-FiT which was gazetted in 2014 with key provisions to address the curtailment challenges, provide clarity to the industry and streamlined particularly the solar PV market space.

Table: Gazetted Feed-In-Tariffs RE-FiT (GHp/kWh)*Effective
1st October, 2014 Renewable Energy Technology

 

Wind with grid stability support

 

 

55.7369

 

 

Wind without grid stability support

 

 

51.4334

 

 

Solar with grid stability support

 

 

64.4109

 

 

Solar without grid stability support

 

 

58.3629

 

 

Hydro ≤ 10MW

 

 

53.6223

 

 

10MW<Hydro≤100MW

 

 

53.8884

 

 

Biomass

 

 

56.0073

 

 

Biomass (enhanced technology)

 

 

59.0350

 

 

Biomass (plantation as feedstock)

 

 

63.2891

 

The interventions are beginning to yield results. In 2015, a total of 20MW solar PV plant was installed and connected to the national grid by BXC, a Chinese company. This brings to total 22.5MW installed capacity of utility-scale solar PV in Ghana and contributing approximately 1% to the generation mix.

Regarding progress in the off-grid and grid-interacted solar PV market, a significant progress has been made. Mini-grid policy, net-metering code are among key policy instruments developed and operationalized paving way for the growing public and private sector investment. A total of 4 mini-grid are currently undergoing technical commissioning to provide reliable green power for islanders in Ghana.

In 2015, the total installed solar PV capacity in the off-grid and grid interacted sector was about 4.3MWp

The sector also received a major boost to benefit from the Climate Investment Fund under the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program, SREP. This flagship program would leverage and unlock investment in the grid-connected, grid-interacted and off-grid sectors.

The outlook for utility-scale solar PV market in Ghana is positive. However, further de-risking of the market is urgent to accelerate the actualization of the 150MWp grid-connected solar PV target by 2020. It is expected that a number of solar PV IPP projects would reach financial close by 2017 to generate enough capacity to meet the targets set.

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