Many African countries receive on average 325 days per year of bright sunlight. This gives solar power the potential to bring energy to virtually any location in Africa without the need for expensive large scale grid level infrastructural developments.
The distribution of solar resources across Africa is fairly uniform, with more than 80% of their landscape receiving almost 2000 kW·h per square meter per year. A recent study indicates that a solar generating facility covering just 0.3% of the area comprising North Africa could supply all of the energy required by the European Union.
Thus, solar energy is considered as a resource of energy that has to be fully exploited. Blue Energy, the British company behind the largestsolar power plant in Africa which will be built in Ghana, announced that the construction on the Nzema project is due to begin near the village of Aiwiaso in western Ghana by the end of 2013, with the installation of some 630,000 PV modules.
Nezma project will definetely improve people’s lives since will provide 500 construction jobs over a two-year build, 200 permanent posts once operational and is expected to lead to a further 2,100 local jobs through sub-contracting to Ghanaian firms and demand for goods, services and education.
It is estimated the huge project will bring in $100 million in tax take for the Ghanaian government over its lifetime and save 5.5 million tones of CO2, based on the emissions from an oil-fired power station with the same generating capacity.
Nzema alone will increase the total installed power generation capacity of Ghana by 6 per cent and will account for a fifth of the government’s 2020 renewable energy target in one swoop as well as supplying enough energy to power 220,000 homes.