It has been established that Ghana has the potential of producing between 600 and 700 MW of energy using wind on the coastal belt.
The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Energy Commission, with funding from the Global Environmental Facility, have maps that show that winds in the coastal belt, towards the East, are particularly stronger in the dry season when the Akosombo Hydro plant experiences a fall in water levels.
Estimates have shown 100 square kilometres of windy areas that are within 25 kilometres of roads and transmission lines in appropriate areas for putting up the infrastructure that can supply electricity for refrigeration and lighting to about 500,000 homes.
The potential is an opportunity for the country to benefit from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol is the international agreement on climate change, while the CDM is the means by which developing countries gain some financial resources for carbon emissions avoided through sustainable development projects.
Mr Nick Nuttall, the Spokesperson of UNEP and Head of Media, disclosed this in Accra last Tuesday at a training workshop for journalists on the topic: “Expanding the reach of CDM in Developing Countries with Emphasis in Africa”.
The workshop was organised by the UNFCCC secretariat for about 40 journalists from all over the world covering the talks.
He described the potential “a key adaptation measure to climate change” for the country, that could be exploited within the next five years with proposals to the CDM board.
In a telephone interview, the Climate Change Task Manager of UNEP, Mr Tom Hamlin, who is based in Paris and was directly involved in the studies, said the excess energy generated by wind could be offloaded to traditional energy generation plants, like the Volta River Authority (VRA), or exported.
DAILY GRAPHIC, THURSDAY AUGSUST 28, 2008, PG 50