UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Large investment needed for the Ghana power sector to meet emissions targets

3 November 2021

The latest Policy Brief from the Greening the Recovery in Ghana and Zambia project looks at the electricity investment needed in Ghana to meet the GH-NDC targets.

telegraph pole with lots of wires

Like many countries, Ghana has experienced significant challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic. As the economy recovers, there is an opportunity for new investment and economic growth to be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and climate pledges made under the Paris Agreement.

With its Nationally Determined Contribution (GH-NDC), Ghana set the target to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 15% relative to the projected business-as-usual by 2030.A more ambitious ‘conditional’ target was also set, which would see a 45% reduction if sufficient financial support could be provided.

A substantial part of these emissions reductions will come from the energy sector, in particular the power system, entailing a rapid roll-out of solar PV power and potentially wind, CSP, nuclear and storage. The transformation could bring great benefits including reduction in air pollution and a reduced reliance on imported energy resources. However, high levels of investment need to be mobilised and international finance is almost certainly required.

This policy brief highlights the implications for the energy system of the GH-NDC targets, and the levels of investment required. It is based on early results from a new OSeMOSYS energy system model. To help deliver the Unconditional and Conditional GH-NDC targets, the power sector requires investments that are 42% and 201% higher than the Baseline over the next decade. With additional international financial support, further action would be possible, such as the faster development of low carbon public transport in urban areas and clean cooking solutions. 

Read the full policy brief

This policy briefing is an output from GCRF funded project Greening the Economic and Social Recovery in Ghana and Zambia, which is a collaboration between UCL, the University of Ghana and the Zambia Institute of Policy Analysis and Research.

Photo by Dina Lydia on Unsplash