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Published on July 20th, 2020 | by Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai


Ghana Pushes For Adoption Of EVs To Soak Up Excess Electricity Generation Capacity

July 20th, 2020 by  

We recently looked at why Kenya really needs to increase the penetration of EVs due to its excess electricity generation capacity. Kenya’s electricity generation mix is mostly green, with 93% of its installed capacity coming from renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind, utility-scale solar, and geothermal.

Ghana is another country that has recently found itself in this admirable position of having excess generation capacity. According to Ghana’s Energy and Demand Outlook 2020, by the end of 2019, the installed electricity generation capacity available for grid power supply in the country was about 4,990 megawatts (MW). The peak load, however, was around 2,612 MW. The interesting part is the portion of the total dependable grid capacity which was 4,580 MW in 2019 and was therefore in excess of the peak load by a whopping 1,968 MW!

To put that into perspective, that excess capacity is enough to meet Kenya’s current demand at peak times! Ghana’s electricity generation mix includes 40% from hydro, just under 60% from thermal energy plants, and a little bit of solar. The 2019 National Household Electricity Access Rate was 82.5%, according to Energy Commissions 2020 Statistics. With a pretty high electrification rate compared to some other African countries, and all that excess generation capacity, Ghana’s Energy Commission is pushing hard for adoption of EVs.

There are over 2,400,000 registered vehicles in Ghana. About 50 % of these are in the Greater Accra region. Over 100,000 vehicles are imported into Ghana annually. The majority of these are used vehicles from Europe and America. Just under 6,000 brand new vehicles were registered in 2019 and only handful of BEVs had been registered in Ghana by the end of 2019.

A Nissan Leaf and a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in Accra, Ghana. Image courtesy of Accraine Ghana.

In a bid to increase uptake of this excess electricity, the Energy Commission launched the Drive Electric Initiative in 2019. The Drive Electric Initiative says Ghana plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15% of the projected business as usual approach emissions by 2030 and they see the acceleration of adoption of EVs as one of the best ways to achieve this.

A Nissan Leaf and a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in Accra, Ghana. Image courtesy of Accraine Ghana.

With tariffs of under $0.10/kWh in the residential space, Ghana, like many other places across Africa, is a great place to drive electric. Some individuals have started to import their own EVs from China. China could be a key source market for Ghana since they drive on the same side of the road. There won’t be a shortage of used EVs at very decent prices plus the ever growing range of brand new models coming out of China.

The Ghanaian firm Accraine, with offices in the United Kingdom and Ghana, has started supplying a selection of BEVs and PHEVs to customers in Ghana. It also retails and installs charging equipment and related accessories. The transition to electromobility is happening faster than most people thought. There are now more and more affordable models starting to pop up around the World. Some of these ICE killers could be perfect for the Ghanaian market.

Images: A Nissan Leaf and a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in Accra, Ghana.

Images courtesy of Accraine Ghana. 
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About the Author

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.

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