The electrification rate in Ghana is 30% (and 50% in rural areas) and the government has a goal of adding 10% renewable energy sources by 2020. Ghana has an over-reliance on hydropower and is therefore vulnerable to climate change related fluctuations in water resources. An overview of the major barriers to further expanding the power sector reveals several significant handicaps: subsidized power and low tariffs leading to financial issues, high transmission and infrastructure requirements and an over-reliance on hydro and gas as a resource.
In partnership with USAID and the International Climate Fund, Ghana has implemented a pilot project in integrated resource and resilience planning strategies to evaluate the best strategy to boost their grid resilience.
Characteristics of the integrated resource and resilience planning strategies are; long term planning (up to 30 years), policy considerations, social/environmental factor considerations, stakeholder engagement and risk assessment. In Ghana, an understanding of the risk associated with variations in the hydropower resources was crucial. By evaluating key risk factors like fuel prices (and availability), changes to power generation resources due to climatic issues, changes in energy regulations and policy, population growth and major economic changes - the robustness of the power sector can be tested. Therefore, leading to a least-regret strategy (or strategies) for increasing power sector resilience.
An understanding of the risk associated with variations in the hydropower resources was crucial to Ghana and can lead to correcting and optimization of hydro resource portfolio. Furthermore, this analysis has lead to a clearer understanding of the power sector resilience with population growth and variations in demand.