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Here’s why solar plants can’t be built everywhere

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Sun, 24 Sep 2023 Source:

As part of efforts to transition into the use of renewable energy, several people including institutions have opted for solar energy.

But, it has come to light that solar plants cannot be built everywhere as the weather in some areas may not be favourable.

Also, the sun is not up 24 hours for the full absorption of solar power.

Making this known on GhanaWeb TV's BizTech programme hosted by Ernestina Serwaa Asante, the Chief Executive Officer of Bui Power Authority, Samuel Kofi Ahiave Dzamesi, has said people need to look out for irradiation before building solar plants.

For areas in the Northern region and some part of the Volta region, there is proper radiation that can help in the generation of solar power.

He however noted that the limitation of cash could be a hindrance to the establishment of solar plants.

Mr Dzamesi whiles speaking on BizTech on GhanaWeb TV said, "You can’t build solar plants everywhere, you need to check out the irradiation but luckily for Ghana, the northern sector and part of the Volta Region, we have proper radiation that can give us more solar power. Secondly, we have the limitation of cash. If you don't have the money you can't build. So, most of the contracts that will give to people are actually what we call EPC plus F. That’s Engineering Procurement, Construction and Finance. So the person comes in, brings all this equipment, his tools, everything and builds the plant, handover to us, we run it, generates the power sell it and pay him. So does the EPC Plaza. So that’s the EPC plus F so that’s the second one. Money has a lot to play."

"The other thing that has also a role to play in why we can't get all the sun in the world to give us power is that sun is there between six to six, you know, from six o'clock you know the sun and then what is this o'clock, no more sun. So question is you the consumer, will you be ready that for six, six to six, you will have power and then from six in the evening to 6 in the morning you’ll wait until the sun comes again? The answer is no," he stated.

"So, we are limited by what you called the base load. Base load is that for every solar plant that you build, you must have a partner. So here we have the 404 hydro, which runs 24 hours. So we expect that after running the solar plant for maybe some time during the day, we can shut down some of the plant, let the water be there. And then in the night we use it to generate so that you can get the 24 hours running…So we are limited also by the base load," the Bui CEO said.

The 50MW land-based solar and 5MW on water established by Bui Power Authority all feed the grid of the Electricity Company of Ghana.

BPA has the legal mandate to develop renewable energy -hydro, solar, wind, hydrogen in any part of the country.


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