Posted on :Thursday , 20th August 2020
With a strong push for solar energyâ€¯fromâ€¯the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, life for thousands of Ghanaians is starting to change.â€¯The $220 million Ghana Energy and Development Access Project (GEDAP) is amongâ€¯the first Bank-financedâ€¯programsâ€¯toâ€¯focus on comprehensive access to renewable energy through off-grid solar services and products.
GEDAP is also exemplary ofâ€¯a larger push for inclusivity--the project included five pilot mini-grids that converted solar energy to electricity for remote communities in islands in the Volta Lake and the Volta River. These five pilot mini grids provide 24/7 electricity to about 10,000 beneficiaries for the first time, allowing these fishing communities to use electricity to improve their livelihoods.
"Solar technology and renewable energy areâ€¯at the heart of the climate agenda," said World Bank Senior Energy Specialist David Vilar, who leads the infrastructure programs in Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.â€¯"Solar energy is renewable and carbon-free; it has unquantifiable potential to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Mini grids have the potential to playâ€¯a significant role in efforts to achieve universal energy access."
Poor households were able to afford mini grids because the project included subsidiesâ€¯to help make energy more affordable and supportedâ€¯access to financing with local financiers, including rural banks.â€¯The International Development Association (IDA) is enabling technical assistance to help makeâ€¯moreâ€¯mini gridsâ€¯financially sustainable for homes and communities with the support in regulation from the Ministry of Energy, Energy Commission and the Public Utility Regulatory Commission.
GEDAPâ€¯has takenâ€¯extra measures to ensure that theâ€¯legal andâ€¯regulatory framework was established for a nascent renewable energyâ€¯sector.â€¯The enactment of theâ€¯Renewable Energy Lawâ€¯supported the activities of the Bank and other donors in this sector.â€¯The project also helps regional policy makersâ€¯as they address ongoing barriers to aâ€¯regional market for stand-alone solar systems. These steps areâ€¯essential to reduce energy poverty in the region and develop scalable solutions.â€¯