Energy access and rural development in Ghana – prospects for decentralised energy and appropriate technology options

Amaka-Otchere, Akosua B. K.


The actual structure and magnitude of domestic, production and community access to energy of remote rural communities are often concealed by national aggregates. Two models – the Energy Development Framework and the Total Energy Access – were used to examine the levels of access in 10 rural communities in three rural districts in the northern part and the middle belt of Ghana. The study also sought to identify possible local potentials that could be harnessed for community specific energy needs. The mixed methods approach was used to carry out the study. Access to energy in these communities was found to be woefully low. Solar energy was identified as the most abundant energy resource for decentralised energy. Even though the potential for biogas existed in northern Ghana, rural energy decision-making was identified to follow procedural rationality, resisting its adoption. It is recommended that new market models are explored, giving equal priority to both decentralised energy systems and appropriate technology to ensure both growth and development in rural communities.

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