Giant solar panel plant planned in Ghana

A new solar power plant is planned to be built in Ghana, and will be the biggest on the continent.

Today the British company "Blue Energy" unveiled plans for the largest solar power plant in Africa -- and one of the largest in the world.

Construction will begin next year in Ghana. It would increase the country's electricity capacity by 6 percent.

Ansgar Kiene is Coordinator of the African Renewable Energy Alliance. He says there's a huge need for access to electricity throughout the whole continent -- representing a significant business opportunity.

"About 650 million people on the African continent do not have access to electricity," Kiene says. "And that, of course, is a huge burden to any sustainable development."

Of the options for renewable energy, he says solar is ideal in the northern and southern parts of Africa, while the middle of the continent has a lot of potential for hydropower and windpower.

What's standing in the way? "I think it's part of the legacy that extending the grid to communities is very, very costly," says Kiene.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...