Business News of 2014-03-03

Ghana offers better conditions for solar energy - Energy expert

A survey conducted by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK) has established that the country offers a competitive environment for producing energy from photovoltaic sources (solar energy).

Currently, companies that rely on bulk power buy at 75Gp per kilowatt hour, translating into about 20 Euro cents. This looks promising in the face of Germany’s production cost of between 10 euro cents and 12 euro cents/kWh.

However, photovoltaic applications can help them produce power at about eight euro cents per kilowatt hour, translating into between 40Gp and 45Gp/kWh.

The Delegate of the German Industry and Commerce, Mr Patrick Martens, told the Daily Graphic that the AHK was therefore organising a high-powered trade mission on Renewable Energy and Photovoltaic Applications to meet up with enterprises in the country.

“The business trip is scheduled for March 9-11, 2014, to explore business opportunities in PV solutions. It is being organised in collaboration with the German Development cooperation, GIZ, which is recruiting the companies on the mission,” Mr Martens explained.

He said the two-month-long research helped the team at AHK to market Ghana as a good destination for promoting PV solutions which convinced the German government to select Ghana out of 56 other destinations on its radar. The German Ministry for Economics and Industry is supporting the mission.

The Head of Energy Desk at the AHK, Mr Joachim Scheid, and his colleague, Mr Paul Adjetey, explained that the mission would target grid-connected PV solutions for companies that consumed bulk power such as the mines, industries, steel producing companies, cement producers, telecom companies and other manufacturing concerns that will be able to make investments in such PV applications.

Mr Scheid said the coming of the mission was timely because of adjustments in utility prices to eliminate subsidies, adding that members of the German mission were top-notch companies which were highly specialised in PV solutions.

Ghana’s energy policy aims at generating 10 per cent of the country’s power needs from renewable sources by year 2020. This means PV solutions, hydro power, wind, biomass and other renewable sources of producing power will be harnessed.

As part of the mission, AHK will organise a forum on “Grid-connected PV Plants and applications” on March 10 at the Coconut Groove Regency Hotel in Accra. After this, members of the mission (about eight) will have one-on-one meetings with the targeted local companies for deeper discussions.