In Finland and the Nordics in general, growing number of wind farms are being constructed, but renewable energy generation, specially wind power production is in the minor role in many of the African countries. Master’s degree student Jukka Rönnlund studied the development possibilities of wind power projects in Ghana in his thesis for Vaasa University of Applied Sciences. So far wind power projects have not been developed in Ghana. Instead, the increasing electricity demand of the country have been covered with thermal and hydro power generation.
However, there is wind power potential in Ghana. As the result of the thesis a portfolio of 12 possible wind power project areas were presented. Projects are located to the windiest regions of the country where the electricity grid exists, and the electricity consumers are close by. Moreover, projects are spread around the country to improve the grid stability and access also for the sparsely populated areas.
Besides the wind resources and the project restrictions, the thesis dived into project management methodologies that could increase the project portfolio’s feasibility. The study showed that the selection of the project areas is important when building the project feasibility but even more important is the diversification of the portfolio. With a proper diversification, for example having a geographical spread for the project areas, the portfolio risks can be mitigated, which impacts positively to the project feasibility.
The thesis was carried out as a qualitative single case study and the target country was Ghana in the Western Africa. The basis for the study was gathered from the recent literature together with the spatial databases that were analyzed to find the potential wind power areas.
Based on the results, commercial stakeholders may start fulfilling the roadmap for the demands of national renewable energy generation and the local officials may start marketing their wind power potential to accomplish the national strategy. Moreover, the national grid operator can utilize the results in improving grid stability in the weak spots of the grid.
The technological development of the wind turbines has been fast for the past years as we have seen in the Finnish market. Through this development, new potential areas are discovered for wind power production and new opportunities obtained to fight the climate change.
Rönnlund, J. 2020. Building a Wind Power Project Development Portfolio. Thesis. Project Management. Vaasa: Vaasa University of Applied Sciences.
Thesis is available in the Theseus database
Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Adebayo Agbejule