Environmental protection implications of the electric power restructuring in Ghana

J.K. Turkson, M.B. Amadu

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    The electric utility industries in most African countries are confronted by the twinproblem of deficient capacity and lack of adequate financial resources to undertake capacity expansion of their respective systems. The critical aspects of power sector reform taking place in many countries are the shift away from state-owned monopoly model towards private sector participation and some competition in the industry. Hydropower plants dominate power systems in most countries in the region. Ghana, which is the focus of this study, has such characteristics. The hydrology of the river on which the two dams (Akosombo and Kpong hydropower plants) are built is increasingly becoming uncertain, and besides, the power output from the two plants is insufficient to meet the increasing electricity demand of the country. The alternative is to build thermal power plants to complement the two hydropower plants. The purposes of the study are: (i) to assess the environmental (more specifically air pollution) implications of changing fuel mix in power generation in Ghana within the context of the ongoing reform of the power sector and (ii) to assess the capacity of the environment protection agencies to regulate, monitor and enforce regulations in the emerging electricity industry. The study uses a spreadsheet-based simulation model to determine the potential levels of certain air pollutants – CO2, SO2 and NOX – that would result from changes in fuel mix for electricity generation. Using different capacity expansion options proposed for the Volta River Authority (VRA) between 1997-2013, the levels of these air pollutants are estimated. The study further describes other potential environmental impacts of changes in fuel mix in power generation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    PublisherRisø National Laboratory
    Number of pages84
    ISBN (Print)87-550-2606-0
    ISBN (Electronic)87-550-2607-9
    Publication statusPublished - 1999
    SeriesDenmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-R
    SeriesUNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment. Working Paper


    • Risø-R-1138
    • Risø-R-1138(EN)
    • Air pollution
    • Electric power industry
    • Energy demand
    • Environmental impacts
    • Fossil fuels
    • Ghana
    • Hydroelectric power
    • Institutional factors
    • Power systems

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