SELECTION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WITH AHP TOOL FOR OFF-GRID PROJECT (CASE OF GHANA)

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ABSTRACT

In this thesis, renewable energy alternatives are studied in order to address the lack of electricity access in rural areas in Ghana. Three renewable energy sources were se-lected: solar, biomass and wind energies. The objectives of the study are firstly to es-tablish the criteria impacting the selection of renewable energy source for off-grid and on-grid; secondly, to identify the best suitable renewable energy source for an off-grid project in Ghana.

The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was used in this study in order to determine the suitable renewable energy source for rural electrification.


The result obtained using the AHP tool present solar energy as the best renewable energy source for an off-grid project in Ghana with 42.35% followed by biomass with 40.77% and wind energy with 16.88%.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION
            1.1 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
            1.2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
            1.3 LIMITATIONS

2 AVAILABILITY OF RES IN GHANA
            2.1 SOLAR ENERGY
            2.2 WIND ENERGY
            2.3       BIOMASS

3 MULTI-CRITERIA DECISION ANALYSIS
            3.1       AHP
            3.2       AHP ENERGY USAGE
            3.3       CRITERIA AND SUB-CRITERIA USED

4 ON / OFF GRID SUB-CRITERIA
            4.1 ON-GRID CONNECTION SUB-CRITERIA
            4.2 OFF-GRID CONNECTION SUB-CRITERIA
            4.3 CASE OF GHANA OFF-GRID PROJECT

5 METHOLOGY
            5.1 DATA GATHERING METHOD
            5.2 DATA ANALYSIS METHOD

6 RESULTS AND FINDINGS
            6.1 RESULTS
            6.2 FINDINGS

7 CONCLUSION

8 RECOMMENDATION
REFERENCES

APPENDIX


1    INTRODUCTION
The economic development of a country depends on the ability of its population to access energy and fulfills its energy needs-based. Ghana is a country of West African with a population of 25 million (World Bank, 2014). 10% of the urban population and 48% of the rural population do not have access to electricity. The access to electricity in Ghana is conditioned by the connection to the grid. How-ever, only the urban area benefits for the grid connection with the grid covering more than 90% of the urban area (International Energy Agency, 2013). Hence, there is a need to develop and promote the usage of renewable energy sources in order to provide energy to those in the rural area who do not have access to grid. The energy access has worsened even for the urban community (Bosiako, 2011). This is due to recurrent power shortage. As mention in IRENA article, “Renewa-ble technologies are now the most economical solution for off-grid electrification and grid extension in most areas, as well as for centralized grid supply in locations with good resources (IRENA, 2012). Renewable energy sources are the only solu-tion to the rural community to get an access to electricity and support to electricity generation for the urban cities; provided that efficient, affordable and cost effi-cient technologies are selected. RES sources can be utilize to support the electrici-ty production; or as self-powering sources for the remote communities and villag-es that do not have access to the grid. RES include solar, wind, biomass and geo-thermal energy.


The purpose of this paper is to provide a guideline in the selection of RES (mainly solar, wind and biomass) for electricity production using the Analytic Hierarchical Process (AHP) for an off-grid project. Previous literatures in the utilization of AHP will be used as a guide.

1.1  Research Objectives
This study intends:


·         To establish the criteria impacting the selection of RES for off and on-grid project in Ghana.

·         To identify the best suitable RES for an off-grid project in Ghana.


1.2  Research Questions:
This study will answer the following questions:


·         What are the criteria and sub-criteria that can be considered in the selec-tion of REs in Ghana for an on and off-grid project?

·         What RES can best contribute to the development of rural communities in Ghana?

1.3  Outline of the Study
The literature review will be discussed in Chapter 2 of this study. In Chapter 2, the various RES and their potentiality will be analyzed and established. In Chapter 3, the importance of adopting a scientific approach in the selection of renewable energy sources will be established and the scientific method use introduced. The previous criteria and sub-criteria used in precedent RES selection will be present-ed in the same Chapter. Chapter 4 of this study presents the sub-criteria that should be considered when selecting an off-grid project as well as an on grid-project. Chapter 5 describes the methodology use in the study. The result of the data gathering as well as its analysis will be presented in Chapter 6. Chapter 7...

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