Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ghana has potentential for Wind Energy

BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE, COPENHAGEN

Windmills in Aalborg, Denmark
Mr Iver Høj Nielsen, Head of Press, State of Green Consortium, a public-private partnership in Denmark leading in the transition to a green growth economy, has said that Ghana has the potential for wind energy.

“South Africa and Ghana have lots of wind,” he told a group of 12 environmental journalists from Ghana, South Africa and Kenya on a Green Growth study tour of Denmark, who visited the office of the consortium referred to as the ‘House of Green’.

The week-long tour is being organised by International Media Support (IMS), an international NGO and funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

While admitting that going into wind energy would require some investment, Mr Nielsen, who is also a business journalist, said he believed Ghana could always seek assistance from development partners if it decided to develop that renewable energy source.

Why invest in renewable energy

He told the journalists that Denmark resolved to invest in renewable energy, when they were caught unawares at the start of the global oil crisis in 1973/74. “We were 99 per cent dependent on imported energy and oil from the Middle East,” he said.

However, the Danish economy has grown by 80 per cent since switching to renewable energy, he stated.

“Energy consumption has remained the same, while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have been reduced,” he added.

Mr Iver Høj Nielsen, State of Green Head of Press
Mr Nielsen said to further increase their use of renewable energy, the Danish Government had set as its target for 2020, an increase in renewable energy consumption of final energy by 35 per cent and the supply of 50 per cent of electricity from wind power.

Denmark, also hopes to reduce the 2010 level of gross energy consumption by 7.5 per cent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent, using the 1990 levels as a baseline.

Ultimate aim

The aim of Denmark, the State of Green Head of Press said, is to become a fossil fuel independent economy, with an ultimate target of using 100 per cent renewable energy in the energy and transport sectors by 2050.

Denmark also hopes to attain 50 per cent reduction in energy consumption in existing buildings by 2050 and phase out the use of coal by 2030.

Also touching on recycling of waste water, Mr Nielsen said, “The water in the Copenhagen habour is so clean that you can swim in it. People want to live in a society that is safe and clean.”

The journalists were also afforded the opportunity to use the House of Green’s interactive computer touch screens to learn more about green innovations and renewable energy.

Writer’s email: Edmund.Asante@graphic.com.gh   

FACTS
  • The first offshore wind farm of the world was built in Copenhagen and it produced 2.2 megawatts of power. The latest to be built produces 7.5 megawatts of power, while another ongoing project is expected to produce over 8 megawatts of power.
  • State of Green is a public-private partnership founded by the Danish Government, the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Energy Association, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council and the Danish Wind Industry Association.
  • H.R.H. Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark is the patron of State of Green.
  • House of Green is an interactive showroom presenting innovative solutions to challenges in climate change, management of natural resources and “green” production and has received about 1,500 high profile technical visits from decision makers around the world since opening in September 2013.
 This story was first published by graphiconline on February 25, 2014

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