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Feasibility Study and Detailed Engineering of Small Scale Biomass Gasification Mini Grids for Electricity Services in Rural Communities in Ghana

This is to investigate how the effective utilization of selected biomass resources (both woody and non woody) can be used to provide electricity by means of a mini grid biomass gasification system in five MFP communities in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions of Ghana.

OBJECTIVES
The overall objective of the study is to contribute to sustainable development in West Africa by providing detailed know-how on the prospects of small scale electricity generation and services schemes based on biomass gasification technology for mini grids. The specific objectives of the study include the following:

  • To define the general socio-economic character of the communities, including local community resource management structures and practices;
  • Assess the biomass resource of the communities
  • To estimate the current as well as potential electrical energy requirement for economic and domestic purposes in the study area;
  • Provide a detailed engineering design of the gasification technology;
  • To analyse and recommend affordable financial mechanisms for decentralized energy infrastructure setup in the target communities;
  • To assess the potential impact of mini-grid electrification on general socio-economic activities of the communities;
  • Propose an appropriate management structure for the mini grid system.

KEY PROJECT ACTIVITIES

  • Field Survey: A structured questionnaire will be prepared and administered to a statistically representative sample of randomly selected households in the community. The survey will, among other things, be used to collect information on the demographic characteristics of the population in the community, livelihoods, energy use patterns, income levels and other unique community specific conditions.  Focus Group Discussions will be held with identifiable groups such as farmers, community leaders, etc to elicit their perspectives on the likely impact of the proposed energy intervention.
  • Feasibility characterization and community ranking: The socio-economic, technical & technological (supply chains, biomass resources, batteries, distribution mini-grid, possibilities for cogeneration and trigeneration, local provider capacities), regulatory, institutional and financial component will be analysed and the potentials of the communities will be ranked and selected for detailed implementation preparation.
  • Analysis and recommendation of affordable financial mechanisms for decentralised energy infrastructure set-up and pro-poor business promotion in the selected communities.
  • Preparation of the detailed engineering and electricity service model for a selection of communities with a higher feasibility and business promotion prospects.
  • Assessment of the climate change mitigation potential using biomass feedstock for energy generation as an alternative to diesel (fossil fuel)
  • Networking and knowledge transfer to key decision-makers within rural electrification and development in Ghana

OUTPUTS
The main output of the study will be a feasibility study and detailed engineering report that will give real insight into the technical, operational, and financial viability of establishing a small scale biomass gasification mini grids for electricity services in five off-grid Multifunctional Platform (MFP) rural communities in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions of Ghana.

PARTNERS
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and The Energy Centre – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (TEC-KNUST)

BENEFICIARIES

  • 1.Seneso, Atebubu Amantin District, Brong Ahafo Region
  • 2. Bompa, Atebubu Amantin District, Brong Ahafo Region
  • 3. Boniafo, Atebubu Amantin District, Brong Ahafo Region
  • 4. Nakpaye, East Gonja District, Northern Region
  • 5. Jaman Nkwanta, Kpandai District, Northern Region

PROJECT PERIOD
January, 2013 – January, 2014

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