Ghana has achieved significant success in turning its economy into an energy efficient economy. The energy efficiency drive was prompted by periodic energy supply shortages dating back to the 1980s. The energy supply challenges were caused by the actions of oil cartels, long droughts that reduced the water volumes in the major hydro dam and the use of old and inefficient end user appliances. Imported old appliances from Europe and elsewhere had dominated the market for a long time. Until recently, thirty percent of the electricity generated went to waste because of these old and inefficient appliances. The efficiency drive was started with the development of minimum energy standards for end user appliances. Standards were developed for three major end user appliances: lighting, air-conditioning and refrigerators. In order to make compliance mandatory, laws were passed to lend legal support to the enforcement of the standards. Another law was passed to prohibit the importation of used refrigerating and air conditioning appliances as well as the manufacturing and sale of incandescent filament bulbs. Ghana then put in place an appliance labelling regime which made it an offence to sell appliances without the labels. The labels became a ‘mark of effciency’ through consumer education. The objective of the appliance standards and labelling regime was to reduce the electricity bills of consumers, prevent Ghana from becoming a dumping ground for obsolete appliances, and finally to transform the appliance market. Two categories of appliances – lighting and refrigeration – were selected for definite interventions to achieve market transformation. In 2007 the government funded the purchase of six million compact fluorescent lamps to be distributed free of charge to consumers to replace incandescent lamps. The results were amazing: 124 megawatts were shaved off the peak load, which delayed a USD 105 million investment to expand thermal energy generation. With an average crude oil price of USD 105 per barrel between October 2007 and October 2008, the savings realized equalled USD 33.3 million per annum, with carbon dioxide savings of 112,320 tons per annum. As of September 2009, the penetration rate of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in Ghana had increased from 20 percent in 2007 to 79 percent, with incandescent lamps reduced from 58 percent in 2007 to 3 percent in 2009. With funding from Global Environment Fund (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a refrigerator energy efficient project was launched aimed at reducing the electricity consumption of refrigerating appliances and transforming the market from old inefficient refrigerating appliances to new and efficient ones. The project ran for three years, at the end of which the refrigerating appliance market had been transformed and the average consumption of refrigerators reduced from 1,200 kilowatt hours (kWh) per annum to 600 kWh per annum. A rebate scheme was put in place to serve as a special purpose vehicle to entice consumers to voluntarily turn-in their old and inefficient refrigerators in exchange for new and efficient ones. At the end of the project, 10,000 old and inefficient refrigerators were retrieved from homes and replaced with the same number of energy efficient ones. About 30,000 illegally imported used refrigerators were seized and destroyed to prevent them from use. The project yielded 400 gigawatt hours (GWh) of savings, i.e. a third of the total national generation. Carbon dioxide savings equalled one million tons.
The success story of the Energy Efficiency Drive in Ghana
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