Renewable Energy & Water Management

Water, electricity and sanitation make up Ghana’s utilities sector.   Since the early 1990s, the government has undertaken reforms including the restructuring and privatization of the utilities sector.   Independent regulatory agencies have been established to oversee utilities and facilitate a fair and transparent business environment.  Private sector participation and decentralization of rural water and sanitation services have encouraged competition and user participation. Investment in both the maintenance and expansion of infrastructure is needed across the utilities sector.  Opportunities exist for a wide range of suppliers and service providers.

Challenges
Challenges currently facing the sanitation industry include difficulty acquiring land for landfill sites, a lack of recycling facilities and a recent shift from local government funded water and sanitation services to services funded through residents paying collection fees to contractors directly.  Like water, improved sanitation is directly linked with eliminating various public health concerns and therefore has the attention of both government and international funding organizations. Opportunities exist throughout the utilities sector from repairing and expanding sewer systems to new technologies for treating waste more efficiently and development of a recycling industry. Ghana’s utilities sector has great potential for growth, and opportunities exist for companies skilled at supplying these most essential services.  Investment in this sector directly facilitates poverty reduction, fights disease and improves living standards.  Government understands the needs of business and, through the creation of independent regulatory institutions, is determined to insure that investments in the utilities sector benefit both Ghanaians and business.

State of Energy sector (supply/demand)  
Ghana’s energy sector is characterized by huge dominance of traditional biomass resources. National access to electricity is about 66%. Transmission infrastructure has been extensive. Over the years it has deteriorated, resulting in frequent interruptions in power supply, transmission bottlenecks, overloaded transformer sub stations and high system losses. Energy import is 24%, but in future it can be reduced due to proven own oil reserves.

Renewable Energy Policy 

The 2010 Ghana National Energy Policy contains areas dealing with renewable energy deployment, waste-to-energy management and energy efficiency. These underline the need for improved support policy, and for the private sector’s involvement to foster sustainable and efficient energy generation.  The goals of the renewable energy sub-sector are to increase the proportion of renewable energy in the total national energy mix and ensure its efficient production and use.  The Government has launched an “energy economy” initiative to increase renewable energy production, with particular attention to electrification of rural communities by 2020. Rural areas cannot be covered only by grid extension but also by off-grid solutions.  Government and the regulator are working towards removing existing fiscal and market barriers, such as custom duty and value added tax.  The country’s Renewable Energy Bill, which has a feed-in-tariff component to ensure return on investment for independent power providers, is currently in the advanced stages of being passed into Ghanaian law.

Opportunities for the private Sector

The private sector will continue to play a key role in delivery of goods, services and works in the water sector. Government of Ghana (GoG) will finalize and implement the policy framework for the involvement of the private sector in the rural/ small towns’ water and urban water sub-sectors. The framework will define supporting measures to encourage private sector participation in operation and maintenance of water systems as well as financing arrangements e.g. Build, Own and Operate (BOO), Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) etc.