Emmanuel Ackom (2005)


Title of the dissertation

Technical & Economic Viability Analysis of Renewable Energy Technologies in Ghana


Prof. Dr. Ertel, Jürgen


Ghana is far from attaining energy security status. The energy mix in Ghana comprises; traditional biomass (66.7%), crude oil/petroleum products (26.2%), and electricity (7.1%) mainly from large hydro plants. The existing energy insecurity dilemma, where demand for energy services is desperately needed for sustainable development leaves Ghana with no other option than to exploit its renewable energy resources. The study seeks to address three main research questions namely:

  1. Are Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) technically and economically viable in Ghana?;
  2. Can RE projects be self sustained in Ghana without continual external support?;
  3. Can RETs be used as an engine for local development? Both qualitative and quantitative methods were employed in analyzing the issues raised.

The four main RE resources identified in Ghana are biomass, solar, small hydro and wind energy. Detailed case study analysis for each resource was done for identification of technically and economically viable options. The study concludes with a strategy on the where, what, why and how to implement viable RE projects in Ghana and a ‘best policy’ recommendation for successful market diffusion of RETs. It proposes that RETs must be provided in forms that match the basic and economic self-reliance needs of the people and generated electricity should be tied directly to viable end-use activities.

Short Bio

Emmanuel Ackom earned his PhD in Environment and Resource Management from BTU, Germany in 2005. He has over 14 years professional experience in project management, capacity building, teaching and research with duty posts (across 3 continents) in 4 countries namely, Ghana, Canada, Germany and Denmark.

Currently, he is a Senior Scientist at the UNEP DTU Partnership (UDP), Denmark. He is also Manager of the Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD) since 2010. Emmanuel implemented the Policy Dialogue Fora (PDF) where GNESD centres work with governments, decision makers and senior researchers in Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, India, Thailand, Brazil and Argentina on energy access. Emmanuel is the UDP Country Manager for several capacity building activities in Ghana mainly the in Low Carbon Development area but also climate change adaptation. His projects includes (but not limited to), the Green Climate Funds (GCF) Readiness, Facilitating Implementation and Readiness for Mitigation (FIRM) and Technology Needs Assessment (TNA). Under the FIRM project, Emmanuel worked with several stakeholders to develop Ghana's comprehensive framework on Low Carbon Development Strategies (LCDS) which included two NAMA documents on Energy Efficiency and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). He was responsible for providing INDC technical support to Zambia and Rwanda and worked with senior government and stakeholders which led to their successful INDC submissions to the UNFCCC prior to COP21 in Paris. Emmanuel is often invited by the government of Ghana to provide direct technical input in national policy documents including: Ghana's renewable energy law, national policy document on LPG, national low carbon development strategy and the national bioenergy policy.

He is a regular reviewer of International Energy Agency (IEA) WEO publications and REN21 GSR reports. Emmanuel is an expert member of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Europe i.e. UNECA and UNECE respectively. He is an external reviewer for evaluating proposals submitted to the Swedish Research Council for funding. He coordinated the IEA Bioenergy Task 39 in Canada where he also worked for 5 years as a research faculty at the University of British Columbia.

Emmanuel's academic research interests are mainly in environmental sustainability, energy for sustainable development and bioenergy policy. He is an editorial board member for two journals namely, Carbon Management and Sustainability.