Ghana's electricity consumption for the year 2021 signals the domination of fossil-based generation over low-carbon sources. The consumption from fossil-related sources, including Gas, was approximately 24 Terawatt-hours (TWh), constituting more than two-thirds of the country’s electricity consumption. In contrast, low-carbon electricity, which includes Hydropower, contributed to just over 14 TWh, almost a third of the total consumption. When compared to the global average electricity consumption of 410 watts per person, Ghana’s average is considerably lower. This low level of electricity generation and consumption could impact Ghana's economic progress, limiting growth and industrialization efforts, and contributing to challenges in healthcare, education, and other public services.
To boost its low-carbon electricity generation, Ghana can take notes from how similar countries have successfully enhanced their clean energy production. For example, Brazil, a tropical country like Ghana, generates a significant amount, 94 TWh, of its electricity from wind. Ghana could also learn from India's use of solar power to generate 119 TWh. These successful implementations in Brazil and India signal that harnessing wind and solar energy in a climate similar to Ghana's could be viable and profitable. Additionally, countries such as South Korea and Japan have made substantial strides in nuclear power, producing 174 TWh and 80 TWh respectively. Ghana could look into these nuclear approaches as a part of their clean energy solution, considering its potential for high output and dependable power.
The history of low-carbon electricity in Ghana has been somewhat inconsistent, primarily driven by hydroelectricity. In the early 1980s, hydroelectricity generation decreased by nearly 2 TWh, followed by intermittent years of small increases and decreases in production. In the year 2000, there was a noticeable increase with an addition of 1.4 TWh. However, the first half of the 2000s saw more instability in hydroelectric production with periods of decline. In 2008, Ghana experienced a strong recovery with an increase of 2.4 TWh. Despite occasional dips, like a significant 2.5 TWh reduction in 2015, the last recorded data in 2019 shows a positive trend in hydroelectricity generation with a 1.2 TWh addition. Despite the fluctuations, hydroelectricity remains a significant component of Ghana's low-carbon energy for the time being.