as a solution to our energy problem? We say no!
This country has enormous renewable energy resource waiting to be tapped provided we initiate bold actions. What is the relationship between the tidal waves in the Volta region and the energy problem?
It is common knowledge that the Volta river lies between two parallel mountain ranges, thus the river lies within a wind corridor that is a trouph.The unique topography of the area generates the wind corridor as the result of the globe turning at 6000mph and orbiting at 67000 mph.Tidal Waves peculiar to this area are induced by the winds in this corridor . Simultaneously, the rain bearing clouds travelling westwards from the East are temporarily dispersed and regain their potential as they reach Central Region peaking in the Western Region. Thus Ghana has most rain in the Western Region compared to the rest of the country. Installing wind turbines in this corridor will utilize the wind energy and consequently reduce the wind force that induced the tidal waves around Ada and Keta. Standard wind turbines, average height 120metres and diameter 85metres would generate 3mega watts of energy per unit. The wind corridor stretching from Ada to the north is over 1000km. Our studies indicates that this is the biggest and most reliable wind corridors in Africa .Installing these turbines at a distance of 300meters triangular should produce 9900 towers or 29,700 mega watts of energy. Now given a wind outage of 66% over the whole stretch of 1000km should guarantee 9000mega watts at all times.
Modern Wind turbines (tower/blade) are manufactured from fibre glass which can be produced from a reactivated Aboso Glass Factory (fibre glass is extracted from molten glass). This would provide a large potential market for any investor willing to take part in the reactivation of the Aboso Glass Factory. We require less than 2 mega watts of electrical energy to cover the total needs of the factory.
The Volta River moves very slowly because it has a low gradient, 0.002 as calculated by Dr. S.B. Arthur, Africa’s topmost hydropower engineer. It must be remembered that during the initial design of the Bui Dam, the power was estimated at 260mega watts, it was Dr. S.B. Arthur, who recalculated the power to prove 400mega watts of energy, could be obtained from the Dam. The calculations were initially disputed by the Soviet specialists who were working on the Dam, but Dr. S.B. Arthur’s assertion was collaborated by a French Consortium.
Dr. S.B. Arthur is alive and can be contacted on 0208074642. It is therefore obvious that the frequent capsizing of the boats on the river can only come from the wind. Any casual visitor to the Afram plains will realize that most of the houses in the area have huge stone boulders on the rooftops-a clear evidence of strong wind availability. (Note: information at our disposal indicates the name “Volta” emanates from the Portuguese word “twist”. The Portuguese gave it this name in the 14 century when they sailed on the river from Ada to Kpone). Installation of wind turbines for power generations is becoming fashionable these days all over the world. Presently the US, is working on a 3000megawatts wind park in Southern Wyoming. The wind park covers 220,000 acres or 100,000 hectares. 1000 wind turbines will be installed over this large area. Our research indicates that our wind density and wind speeds are better than what pertains in Southern Wyoming of the US.
Colonel Jackson, a renowned Ghanaian inventor, of international repute and a member of CTED, is presently working to patent a new type of wind turbine which is more efficient than the existing ones. According to him, existing wind turbines, utilize only five percent of the wind in contact with the blade. Colonel Jackson’s design incorporates hundred percent contacts with the wind and consequently reduces the sizes of the wind tower and blade.
The United States is implementing a wind energy programme to ensure that 20% of its energy mix will come from wind by 2030. Presently US and German wind turbine manufactures are installing wind turbines with the capacity of 6mega watts per unit .Channeling the wind energy in the Volta Basin for electric power generation will help us kill two birds with one stone-minimize the menace of the Tidal Waves and increasing our renewable energy resource. It is important to note the relationship between Ghana’s ability to produce Salt in the areas affected by this wind corridor and the inability of Nigeria and Ivory Coast to produce Salt due to absence of such a wind corridor. The relative higher wind availability facilitates evaporation of sea water for natural production of salt.
The strategic installation of wind turbines will reduce the power of the wind to interfere with the rain bearing clouds from the East and result in a possible increase of rains in Ghana. Our new renewable wind energy should phase out our Thermal Plants, and also control the released of water from our hydropower stations into the sea and make more water available for irrigation. The enormous availability of this energy source will help us distill sea water directly for high quality salt production and also obtain fresh water from the sea for miscellaneous application. With extra cheap wind energy, we can also use “reverse osmosis technology” to produce fresh water and highly concentrated brine for salt production. At this point, it is necessary to note that Salt is the basic material for the chemical industry and it is found in about 14000 products. Since energy is one of the seven parameters of the value addition chain (the rest being time, tool, material, money, man power and information, the availability of cheap energy will attract many industries from all over the world to locate here in Ghana to create jobs for our teaming unemployed youths).
At this point, lets us take a lesson from our first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who in 1963, at the OAU Conference at Addis Ababa, said among others, “With enormous electric power, we shall drain marshes and swamps, clear infested areas, feed the undernourished, and rid out people of parasites and diseases. It is within the possibilities of Science and Technology to make even the Sahara bloom into a vast field with verdant vegetation for agricultural and industrial development. We shall harness the media to lift our people from the dark recesses of illiteracy. A decade ago, this would have been visionary words, the fantasies of an idle dreamer. But this is the age in which Science has transcended the limits of the material world, and Technology has invaded the silences of nature….. The world is no longer moving through bush paths or on camels and donkeys. We cannot afford to pace our needs, our development, our security to the gait of camels and donkeys......This is because we have emerged in the age of science and technology in which poverty, ignorance and diseases are no longer the masters, but are the retreating foes of mankind.” Dear Ghanaians, the World is now afloat with millions of idle money. Just see how are bonds are oversubscribe anytime we float them. Lets us be bold and capitalize on this. We can kill this energy deficiency monster threatening to enslave us .The CPP is ready to engage any Government on the Energy issue and if you the reader is with us, please say Amen. Amen.
THIS COUNTRY MUST TAKE ITS DIGNITY BACK.
Alias The Crusading Engineer
Footnotes;please watch out for our next submission on the potential of solar energy to create immense wealth for Ghana.