The electric utility industries in most African countries are confronted by the twin-problem of deficient capacity and lack of adequate financial resources to undertake capacity expansion of their respective systems. The critical aspects of power sectorreform 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 isthe 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 tomeet 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) implicationsof 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 electricityindustry. The study uses a spreadsheet-based simulation model to determine the potential levels of certain air pollutants – CO_2, SO_2 and NO_X – that would result from changes in fuel mix for electricity generation. Using different capacity expansionoptions 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.
Systemanalyse; Risø-R-1138; Risø-R-1138(EN)
Main Research Area:
Denmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-r, Unep Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment. Working Paper