Ghana’s quest to turn its waste challenges to profit received a boost on Monday with the signing of a five million euro grant facility with Germany to build a 400-kilowatt demonstration hybrid waste to energy plants.
The overall objective of the project, which fits into the country’s renewable energy plan imbedded in the 31 Nationally Determined Commitments, in response to the Lima Call for Action, is to develop waste into energy using hybrid solar PV, biogas and a pyrolysis plant.
The project would help advance Ghana’s quest to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, as a lead implementer and a country whose President is a co-chair of the SDGs advocates at the United Nation.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation signed on behalf of Ghana, while Madam Anja Karliczek, the Federal Minister of Education and Research of the Federal Republic of Germany initialed for her country at a brief ceremony in Accra.
The project implementation, which would commence from October 1, 2019 to September 1, 2023 would involve three German Research Partners, six Ghanaian Research Centre, two industrial partners from Germany, three partners from Ghana and host of others.
Madam Karliczek stated that the 12,000 tons of waste generated in Ghana on a daily basis would be put to good use and would provide employment.
Germany Researchers, she said had innovated solutions and would collaborate with their counterparts in Ghana to ensure the success of the project and the potential of building ten more by 2040 on a large scale to generate between one to five megawatts.
Touching on the socio-economic benefits, she said, the byproducts such as biochar and digestate from the pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion process could be used to generate business spin-offs.
“For instance, biochar and biogas digestate can be used as soil enhancer to boost agriculture produce in farming communities.
The packaging and distribution can lead to sustainable job creation and contribute to Ghana Government “planting for food and jobs’ agenda,” she said.
Health wise, Madam Karliczek said the treatment of solid waste had a potential benefit ensuring a cleaner environment; stop the transmission of deadly diseases such as cholera and malaria
The utilisation of the biogas produced as domestic fuels, she said could help reduce indoor air pollution as a result of using charcoal and firewood that acute respiratory infection.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said the support further deepening the bilateral cooperation between the two countries that began over 60 years.
The success of the programme, he said would create an opportunity for German business to take advantage to extend their products and services in the area of waste to energy to Ghana.
He noted that the use of bioenergy to generate electricity or for thermal applications instead of fossil fuel would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmentally, Prof Frimpong-Boateng said the utilisation of the bio-waste potential to produce bioenergy would significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the form of avoided methane emissions.
As part of the project, he explained that a policy guideline document on hybrid waste to energy system and business models for hybrid solar PV, biogas and pyrolysis plants would be developed.
The project, he stated would include; the training of two post-doctorates, three doctorates, ten masters’ students, 20 academics professionals on hybrid biogas pyrolysis systems for waste treatment to enable them lead and mentor other African Countries in the design, Construction and Maintenance of Biogas/Biomass Plants.
The Minister expressed appreciation to the government of Germany and gave the assurance that the project would be implemented successfully to derive the intended benefit.
He said the country was ready to further collaborate with Germany to reclaim degraded lands and restore polluted water bodies and protect biodiversity.