Ghana • Growth, electrification and emissions: a fine balancing act

With an average growth of 5% since 2013, Ghana has one of the most dynamic economies on the planet. The Ghanaian rate of electrification is one of the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa and the country became an exporter of electricity in the late 2000s. These results were obtained during a period of GHG emissions drop.

Publication date





Thibault Laconde • Engineer

Key takeaways :

  1. Emissions from the Ghanaian electricity
    sector stood at 2.71 million tons of CO2
    in 2017 compared with 3.52 million in
    2013. Meanwhile, electricity production has gone
    from 12.9 to 14.1 TWh;
  2. A drop in carbon intensity of electricity
    can be explained by the development
    of gas-fired power stations, boosted
    by the discovery of local resources and a
    recurring shortage of electricity. However,
    hydroelectricity, the country’s main source of
    decarbonated electricity, is not being developed;
  3. The Ghanaian electricity sector
    is being redeveloped after years of
    major difficulties. The poor financial
    health of public businesses places the onus of
    developing the country’s major renewable
    resources on private investments. Despite
    ambitious objectives and incentive policies,
    renewable energy generation, excluding major
    hydraulic installations, remains negligible.
    However, several projects are underway
    concerning solar, wind and wave farms;
  4. The role of local governments
    in the production of energy is limited,
    they can mainly intervene via their
    economic development missions by supporting
    the electrification of local activity areas;
  5. Civil society, and especially women,
    is as opposed as it is advocating by
    mobilizing against coal-fired power
    plant projects, while having an important role
    in training and sensitizing the population on
    energy issues.