MASTER'S PROJECT: Demand Analysis and Optimization of Renewable Energy: Sustainable Rural Electrification of Mbanayili, Ghana
The Government of Ghana created an electrification initiative, the National Electrification Scheme (NES), which intended to provide electricity to all villages with more than five hundred inhabitants by the year 2020. Due to insufficient funding and inefficient electrification strategies, this goal may not be feasible. Many of the rural electrification projects that exist under the auspices of the NES are failing because of their lack of realistic long-term planning and poor fiscal health. Previous attempts to provide electricity throughout sparsely populated Northern regions of Ghana have compounded the Government's already dire fiscal outlook with increased burden, causing the government to become increasingly reliant on donor assistance. To engender a successful rural electricity project and mitigate the financial burdens of the Ghanaian Government, implementation of cost-effective measures that conform to a community's willingness-to-pay is essential. Through a case study of Mbanayili, a village in Northern Ghana that is currently without electricity, this project proposes a model for overcoming the current hurtles in rural electrification by identifying a sustainable electrification system and implementation plan for the village. The term "sustainable" is used in reference to two factors: 1) the fiscal sustainability of the villagers to maintain and pay for electrification, accomplished by a manageable and affordable power generation system and 2) environmental sustainability, through the partial use of renewable energies. This project proposes an electricity generation system intended to advance an understanding of the inherent challenges confronting rural electrification in the developing world.