Analysis: Renewable Energy Projects in Rural Ghana Have Some Built-in Limitations
Renewable energy technologies like solar lanterns, solar panels and biogas digesters offer the prospect of affordable power in remote communities. For the last 30 years, international organisations have been involved in projects to make these technologies available to users in African countries. Mainly this has been done free of charge and has included efforts to build local capacity and reform policy.
But despite these efforts, internationally funded renewable energy projects have often failed after they withdrew their support.
In the last decade, international organisations have been moving away from this aid-led approach to a more market driven approach. The reasoning is that market driven approaches will enhance technology ownership and long-term adoption. They often require users to pay fully or partly for equipment and maintenance through loans and subsidies.
Photo courtesy of World Bank Photo Collection.