The Ghanaian authorities are sitting on a PV project application pipeline totalling over 2GW, PV Tech has learned.

Since launching a feed-in tariff in 2011, the West African nation has been flooded with applications for projects, the first of which – the 155MW Nzema project being built by British firm Blue Energy in western Ghana – is already underway.

Ghana, one of only a few West African countries with any current support regime in place for solar, is emerging as one of the most favourable potential PV markets in the region.

Legislation passed in 2011 set a 10% renewable energy target for Ghana by 2020, which has since been backed up by the feed-in tariff, set at US$0.20/kWh.

“The renewable energy act is meant to create the enabling environment to attract private investment,” Kwabena Otu-Danquah, head of renewable energy at Ghana’s Energy Commission told PV Tech. “We are looking at the entire renewable energy sector – be it solar, be it wind, be it any other renewable energy source which is available in the country.”

Otu-Danquah revealed that since confirming the feed-in tariff in 2012, the backlog of PV project applications had reached over 2,000MW.

But given that solar will be competing with other renewables and the comparatively small capacity of Ghana’s power system, the number of grid-connected solar projects actually being given the go-ahead under the FiT regime is likely to be only a fraction of those proposed. “It’s not likely we’ll be able to deploy of all that,” Otu-Danquah confirmed.

Of far greater potential in Ghana are the opportunities for non grid-tied PV systems, for example those supporting farms or industrial building.

A feature exploring Ghana’s nascent solar industry can be found in the latest issue of PV Tech’s sister journal, Solar Business Focus. PV Tech’s publisher, Solar Media, will be hosting an event exploring solar in West Africa in Accra, Ghana, on 16-17 September. Further details are available here.

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