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Modelling the Socio-Economic Impacts of Modern Bioenergy in Rural Communities in Ghana

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
April 2016

This study analyses ex-ante socio-economic impacts of biogas systems using a remote rural community in Ghana as a case study. An analysis was performed for a 300 m3 bio-digester that relies on crop residue and animal manure as feedstock to produce methane gas for cooking using selected bioenergy economic and social indicators. With a 10% discount rate, a 30 year bio-digester lifetime and methane tariff starting at US$ 0.7/m3, the project will have a Net Present Value of approximately US$ 22,000, 16 year payback and an Internal Rate of Return of 11%. The project will create 4 full time unskilled labour positions during the investment year and 3 positions during operation years. Using methane from the bio-digester for cooking will displace approximately 170 tonnes of firewood per year and save the women in the community a total of 3400 hours per year not fetching firewood. However, only 5% of households are willing to pay the base tariff of US$ 30/m3 with up to 60% willing to pay less than half the monthly tariff. To make tariffs affordable to rural households, there is the need for subsidy schemes from government or relevant agencies.

Simon Bolwig
Research Areas
Energy Systems
bioenergy, crop residues
Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation
Kemausuor, Francis, Simon Bolwig, Shelie Miller. (2016) “Modelling the Socio-Economic Impacts of Modern Bioenergy in Rural Communities in Ghana.” Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments. 14: 9-20.