The #RE4SMEs advocacy initiative aims to promote the adoption of renewable energy (RE) by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana. The initiative seeks to increase the resilience and profitability of SMEs while contributing to the Net-Zero Agenda. This dashboard provides valuable information and resources to help SMEs make informed decisions about adopting RE
This dashboard is designed to provide information on the adoption of renewable energy (RE) by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana. It is part of an advocacy initiative aimed at promoting the use of RE for electricity generation by SMEs, which will contribute to the Net-Zero Agenda and the resilience and profitability of their businesses.
Renewable Energy Use Guide for SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from renewable energy (RE) in many ways. RE can help SMEs reduce their energy costs, improve their environmental performance, and enhance their reputation. This guide provides information on the use, impact, and financial benefits of RE for SMEs.
Renewable energy sources are energy sources that are replenished naturally and can be used repeatedly without being depleted. These sources include solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal, and ocean energy. Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana can benefit greatly from renewable energy adoption including;
Reduced Energy Costs: Renewable energy sources can provide SMEs with a reliable and affordable source of power, reducing their energy costs and increasing their profitability.
Improved Energy Security: Renewable energy sources can provide SMEs with a reliable source of power, reducing their dependence on the grid and improving their energy security.
Environmental Sustainability: Renewable energy sources are cleaner and emit fewer greenhouse gases than conventional energy sources, reducing the carbon footprint of SMEs and contributing to environmental sustainability.
Access to Financing: Renewable energy adoption can provide SMEs with access to financing opportunities and support from government and non-governmental organizations.
Improved Reputation: SMEs that adopt renewable energy sources can improve their reputation and gain recognition for their commitment to environmental sustainability.
Ghana has a variety of renewable energy sources that SMEs can tap into to meet their energy needs. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and biomass offer significant potential savings for SMEs in Ghana. These sources are suitable for different types of SMEs and can help reduce their reliance on fuel-powered generators. However, it is important to consider the potential environmental impacts of each renewable energy source and to adopt appropriate technologies and practices to minimize these impacts. By adopting renewable energy sources, SMEs can improve their productivity and profitability while contributing to the sustainability of Ghana’s energy sector.
Solar Energy: is a viable option for SMEs in Ghana as the country receives abundant sunshine throughout the year. Solar panels can be installed on rooftops, open spaces, or mounted on poles, making them suitable for different types of SMEs. The potential savings from using solar energy are significant, as SMEs can save on electricity bills and reduce their reliance on fuel-powered generators. Furthermore, solar energy has no direct environmental impact, making it a clean and sustainable option.
Wind Energy: is suitable for SMEs located in Ghana’s coastal areas, which have strong wind resources. Wind turbines can be installed onshore or offshore, making them suitable for different types of SMEs. The potential savings from using wind energy are significant, as SMEs can save on electricity bills and reduce their reliance on fuel-powered generators. However, wind turbines may have a visual and noise impact on the environment and wildlife, making it important to select appropriate locations for installation.
SMEs located near Ghana’s rivers and waterfalls can benefit from hydropower. Hydropower is suitable for SMEs with high energy consumption requirements, such as those in the manufacturing sector. The potential savings from using hydropower are significant, as SMEs can save on electricity bills and reduce their reliance on fuel-powered generators. However, hydropower may have environmental impacts such as habitat loss, flooding, and altered river flows, making it important to consider the potential impacts on ecosystems and communities.
SMEs can benefit from biomass energy by using organic matter such as agricultural waste or wood chips to generate heat and electricity. Biomass energy is suitable for SMEs in the agricultural and forestry sectors, as well as those with biomass waste streams. The potential savings from using biomass energy are significant, as SMEs can save on fuel costs and reduce their reliance on fuel-powered generators. However, biomass energy may have environmental impacts such as deforestation, soil erosion, and air pollution, making it important to consider the sustainability of biomass sources and use appropriate technologies to minimize impacts.
Benefits of Renewable Energy for SMEs
- Cost savings: RE can help SMEs reduce their energy costs by generating their own electricity or by purchasing it from renewable sources.
- Environmental performance: RE can help SMEs reduce their carbon footprint and other environmental impacts.
- Reputation: RE can help SMEs enhance their reputation by demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
- Tax incentives: SMEs can take advantage of federal, state, and local tax incentives for RE.
- Grants and loans: SMEs can apply for grants and loans from government agencies, utilities, and other organizations to help finance RE projects.
- Energy savings: SMEs can save money on their energy bills by generating their own electricity or by purchasing it from renewable sources.
Cost Benefits Analysis Tools
There are several tools and resources available to help SMEs estimate the costs of renewable energy solutions. Some of these include:
Renewable Energy Cost Modeling Toolkit: This toolkit, developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), provides a comprehensive set of models and tools to help policymakers and analysts estimate the costs of renewable energy projects. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy11osti/51093.pdf.
CREST Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool: This tool, also developed by NREL, contains economic and cash-flow models designed to assess project economics, design cost-based incentives, and evaluate the impact of state and federal support structures on renewable energy. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/50374.pdf, https://www.nrel.gov/analysis/crest.html.
Literature reviews: SMEs can conduct literature reviews to determine the costs of renewable energy solutions and the potential financial benefits. For example, a literature review conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that renewable energy can provide opportunities for growth and profit for businesses. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1194&context=envstudtheses.
Reports and studies: Reports and studies, such as those published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), can provide valuable information on the costs and benefits of renewable energy solutions. https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2016/IRENA_Measuring-the-Economics_2016.pdf.
Here are some financing options available to SMEs for renewable energy projects in Ghana:
Trust funds: Trust funds can invest in sustainable developments like renewable energy projects. SMEs can explore the possibility of accessing trust funds for financing their renewable energy projects. Read more.
Blended finance options: Blended finance options are available for co-funding and de-risking mechanisms for SMEs in Ghana. SMEs can explore blended finance options for green businesses in Ghana, including renewable energy projects. Read more.
Government initiatives: The Ghanaian government has several initiatives to support the development and adoption of renewable energy, including financial incentives for renewable energy investments and promoting the use of renewable energy in rural areas. Read more, Read more.
Banks and other financial institutions: Some banks in Ghana offer renewable energy loans and other financial institutions provide support for SMEs in Ghana. SMEs can explore the possibility of accessing these loans and support structures for financing their renewable energy projects. https://acep.africa/events/stakeholder-engagement-on-financing-options-for-renewable-energy-adoption-by-smes-in-ghana/.
By exploring these financing options, SMEs in Ghana can access the necessary funds to invest in renewable energy projects. These financing options can help SMEs overcome the financial barriers to renewable energy adoption and make the transition to renewable energy more accessible and affordable.
Here are some relevant government policies and regulations related to renewable energy (RE) adoption by SMEs in Ghana:
Renewable Energy Master Plan: The Ghanaian government published a Renewable Energy Master Plan in 2019, which aims to increase the proportion of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix to 10% by 2020 and 20% by 2030. The plan also includes policies to support the development of renewable energy projects, such as incorporating land requirements for renewable energy projects in the national spatial planning framework and developing legislation to ensure that increased renewable energy deployment does not negatively impact the environment. https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/ghana-energy-and-renewables, https://www.energycom.gov.gh/files/Renewable-Energy-Masterplan-February-2019.pdf, https://acep.africa/a-simplified-guide-to-renewable-energy-investment-for-smes-in-ghana/.
National Energy Policy: The National Energy Policy, published in 2020, aims to promote the development and use of renewable energy sources in Ghana. The policy includes measures to increase access to renewable energy, such as providing incentives for the development of renewable energy projects and promoting the use of renewable energy in rural areas. https://acep.africa/a-simplified-guide-to-renewable-energy-investment-for-smes-in-ghana/.
Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program: The Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Program in Ghana is a government-led initiative that aims to increase access to renewable energy in the country. The program includes policies to support the development of renewable energy projects, such as providing financial incentives for renewable energy investments and promoting the use of renewable energy in the agricultural sector. https://acep.africa/a-simplified-guide-to-renewable-energy-investment-for-smes-in-ghana/.
Energy Laws and Regulations: Ghana has several laws and regulations related to energy, including renewable energy. These include the Renewable Energy Act, which provides a legal framework for the development and promotion of renewable energy in Ghana, and the Energy Commission Act, which establishes the Energy Commission as the regulatory body for the energy sector in Ghana. https://www.globallegalinsights.com/practice-areas/energy-laws-and-regulations/ghana.
By understanding these policies and regulations, SMEs in Ghana can make informed decisions about adopting renewable energy solutions and take advantage of the incentives and support structures available to them.
Here are some success stories of SMEs in Ghana that have adopted renewable energy solutions:
Toyola Energy: Toyola Energy is a Ghanaian company that produces and distributes energy-efficient cookstoves and solar-powered lamps. The company has been successful in promoting the adoption of renewable energy solutions in Ghana and has received recognition for its efforts. https://dgroups.org/.
Blue Power Energy: Blue Power Energy is a Ghanaian company that specializes in the installation of solar panels for residential and commercial customers. The company has been successful in promoting the adoption of solar energy solutions in Ghana and has received recognition for its effort. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960148121009770.
Sunyani Technical University: Sunyani Technical University is a Ghanaian university that has adopted renewable energy solutions, including solar panels and wind turbines, to power its campus. The university has been successful in reducing its energy costs and carbon emissions through the adoption of renewable energy solutions. https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/68202.
Ghanaian cocoa farmers: Some Ghanaian cocoa farmers have adopted renewable energy solutions, such as solar-powered irrigation systems, to improve their crop yields and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. These farmers have been successful in reducing their energy costs and improving their livelihoods through the adoption of renewable energy solutions. https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/ghana-energy-and-renewables.
By adopting renewable energy solutions, these SMEs in Ghana have been able to reduce their energy costs, improve their environmental sustainability, and enhance their reputation as socially responsible businesses. These success stories demonstrate the potential benefits of renewable energy adoption for SMEs in Ghana and can serve as examples for other businesses considering the adoption of renewable energy solutions.
Here is a repository of resources such as technical guides, policy documents, and research papers on renewable energy in Ghana that SMEs can use as a reference:
Ghana Renewable Energy Master Plan: This document provides a comprehensive overview of Ghana’s renewable energy sector, including policies, targets, and strategies for increasing the proportion of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix. https://www.energycom.gov.gh/files/Renewable-Energy-Masterplan-February-2019.pdf.
Status of renewable energy resources for electricity supply in Ghana: This research paper provides an overview of the renewable energy resources available for electricity supply in Ghana, including hydro, solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, and biofuel. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468227620303963.
Renewable Energy Deployment in Ghana: The Hype, Hope and Reality: This research paper examines the development of renewable energy sources in Ghana, including the challenges and opportunities for renewable energy deployment in the country. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0975087819898581.
A review on renewable energy potentials and energy usage statistics in Ghana: This research paper provides an overview of the renewable energy potentials and energy usage statistics in Ghana, including the commonly used renewable and non-renewable energy sources in the country. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666052022000152.
Ghana Renewables Readiness Assessment: This report provides an assessment of Ghana’s readiness to transition to a renewable energy future, including an analysis of the country’s renewable energy resources, policies, and institutional frameworks. https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2015/IRENA_RRA_Ghana_Nov_2015.pdf.
International Trade Administration: The International Trade Administration provides information on Ghana’s energy and renewables sector, including market overviews, trade data, and opportunities for U.S. businesses. https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/ghana-energy-and-renewables.
NREL’s four-page guide helps small businesses understand the energy and non-energy benefits of energy-efficiency investments. https://www.nrel.gov/buildings/small-businesses.html.
The UNECE provides guidelines and best practices for MSMEs in delivering energy-efficient products and in providing renewable energy equipment. https://unece.org/sustainable-energy/publications/guidelines-and-best-practices-micro-small-and-medium-enterprises, https://unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/energy/se/pdfs/geee/Guidelines_MSME_EE-RE_Final.pdf.
The EERE Small Business Program provides opportunities for small businesses to provide products and services to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. https://www.energy.gov/eere/eere-small-business-program.
The Carbon Trust provides free guides and resources to help SMEs tackle energy efficiency and carbon reduction. https://www.carbontrust.com/our-work-and-impact/guides-reports-and-tools/smes-and-energy-efficiency, https://www.carbontrust.com/our-work-and-impact/guides-reports-and-tools/carbon-reduction-and-net-zero-for-smes.
By using these resources, SMEs in Ghana can gain a better understanding of the renewable energy sector in the country, including the available resources, policies, and opportunities for renewable energy adoption. These resources can serve as a reference for SMEs seeking to learn more about renewable energy and make informed decisions about adopting renewable energy solutions.
Here are some organizations and agencies that provide technical assistance and support for renewable energy (RE) adoption by SMEs in Ghana:
Energy Commission: The Energy Commission is the technical regulator of Ghana’s electricity, natural gas, and renewable energy industries, and the advisor to the government on energy matters. SMEs can contact the Energy Commission for technical assistance and guidance on RE adoption. https://www.energycom.gov.gh/renewables/promoting-renewable-energy, https://www.energycom.gov.gh/.
Power Africa: Power Africa is a market-driven, U.S. government-led public-private partnership that aims to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. SMEs can contact Power Africa for support and guidance on RE adoption, including financing options and technical assistance. https://www.trade.gov/country-commercial-guides/ghana-energy-and-renewables.
Center for Global Development: The Center for Global Development provides support to Ghana’s power sector, including technical assistance in developing power infrastructure and financing power infrastructure projects. SMEs can contact the Center for Global Development for guidance on RE adoption and financing options. https://www.cgdev.org/sites/default/files/electricity-situation-ghana-challenges-and-opportunities.pdf.
Global Legal Insights: Global Legal Insights provides information on energy laws and regulations in Ghana, including those related to RE. SMEs can contact Global Legal Insights for guidance on the legal and regulatory framework for RE adoption in Ghana. https://www.globallegalinsights.com/practice-areas/energy-laws-and-regulations/ghana.
By contacting these organizations and agencies, SMEs in Ghana can access technical assistance, guidance, and support for RE adoption, including financing options, legal and regulatory guidance, and information on the technical aspects of RE systems.