Dr Julius C. Ahiekpor, the Head of Bioenergy, Kumasi Technical University, on Tuesday said Ghana within few years can significantly control its energy and sanitation problems if she paid particular attention to ‘waste-to-energy’ generation.
He said some countries were now importing waste to generate energy for consumption, as it had many advantages as compared to the hydropower that many parts of the world were accustomed to.
He made the remark at a stakeholder consultation meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF), and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) of Ghana, through the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL).
Under the supervision of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-Ghana), the meeting in Accra was for stakeholders to deliberate on key issues to promote the successful implementation of the BMBF’s “400 kw Hybrid Waste to Energy” project being piloted in Gyankobaa, a community within the Atwima-Nwabiagya South Municipality in the Ashanti Region.
The 400 kilowatt plant, to be generated from municipal solid waste and solar using biogas, gasification and PV technologies, will reduce wastes generated and indiscriminately scattered within Kumasi and its environs especially project areas, and enhance power supply upon completion.
As part of the project, Dr. Ahiekpor said they would develop business modules to replicate the facility across the country and conduct impact assessment, while training Ghanaian Doctorate candidates, post-Doctorate and Masters’ Degree candidates to manage the facility.
The project, he said was expected to reduce waste between 30 to 50 per cent, create 50 new employment opportunities and 10 new businesses for the Municipality and serve as a site for tourists and research.
“I am looking forward to the day that Ghana will lose all of her waste to energy to an extent of craving for waste. The streets will be free of filth and our water bodies will be free of filth,” he added.
Dr. Ahiekpor said the project coordinators would as part of their implementing actions train community members on composting, and organic farming to enhance their source of livelihood.
Professor Daouda Kone, the Director of Capacity Building, WASCAL, said WASCAL and stakeholders were going to launch a ‘World Clean Energy Production’ project in March 2021 on the use of hydrogen in energy generation.
As part of the project, he said students would in October 2021 be assigned to four West African countries to be trained in institutions like the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and also impart knowledge on energy production.
He gave an assurance of WASCAL’s preparedness to contribute to the successful implementation of the piloting of the Hybrid Waste-to-Energy project.
Dr Portia Adade Williams, a Research Scientist, Waste-to-Energy production assured of quality recycling, and diverted waste from landfills.
It also protected soil and ground water contamination and microplastics, while avoiding the creation of methane.
However, she said factors like season, income, location of waste, waste segregation, heating, and electricity among others affected waste to energy generation.
The 5.8 million Euros project is being funded by ‘Projektträger Jülich’ and BMBF with Universität Rostock, SRH, DBFZ, GICON, TPI, CEESD, MESTI, CSIR-STEPRI, KsTU and FV Construction Ltd as part of project partners.