Foundation Laid for Green Energy and less Waste in Ghana

More than 12,000 tonnes of municipal waste are produced in Ghana everyday. This waste is almost never put to use and is left to rot unchecked. The results are health hazards, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental pollution. A unique hybrid photovoltaic biogas pyrolysis plant can turn this municipal waste into environmentally friendly energy. Ghanaian Minister of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng laid the foundation for the demonstration plant in Kumasi yesterday in the company of representatives of the German and Ghanaian partners.

Together with universities and businesses from Ghana, German research institutions and companies are working to solve two problems in this West African country at once: too much waste and too little energy. With the Waste2Energy project, they are developing a hybrid photovoltaic biogas pyrolysis plant that converts waste into green energy using energy from the sun and various decomposition processes.

Waste that is left to rot unchecked also contributes to climate change by releasing greenhouse gases, with roughly a quarter of Ghana’s overall emissions resulting from the household waste sector. The hybrid plant reduces greenhouse gases emitted from municipal waste and provides fertilizer, which is in urgent demand.

Even just the 400 kW demonstration plant, whose foundation was laid this week, will create 50 jobs. Ghanaian men and women will be trained during the project to enable them to maintain and operate the plant into the future. Provided the pilot plant in Kumasi works as expected, another ten large-scale plants with an output of up to five megawatts should be built in the next 20 years. This will provide Ghana with clean air, clean streets, sustainable jobs, and fertilizer for local farmers.

Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek announced the Waste2Energy project last summer at the WASCAL Ministerial Conference. It is being funded with around € 6 million by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.