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Abstract The high level of fossil fuel consumption globally is wreaking havoc on the global climate through the emissions of greenhouse gases. Against this backdrop, there have been calls from national and international stakeholders for a transition towards renewable energy RE.
However, the investment and adoption of renewable energy technologies especially, in developing countries have been woefully inadequate. Even though various policy and legislative instruments in support of RE development abound in Ghana, the contribution of RE to the energy generation mix is notably insignificant, due to constraints that limit high investment. Using the Political Economy Analysis PEA approach, this article examines the deficiencies in these policy strategies, and unravels the complexity as well as the alignments of interests of stakeholders regarding policies that could provide a more favourable investment in renewables in Ghana.
The article recommends that Ghana's leaders champion those policies with the highest support across all stakeholders. The current energy policy of the country also sets a policy target of 10 per cent contribution of RE to the country's energy generation mix by MoE In addition, there clean energy and trading ltd ghana the Renewable Energy Act, Actwhich gives legislative backing to the promotion and development of renewable energy technologies RETs.
Notwithstanding the existence of these various policies and legislative instruments in support of RE development in Ghana, the contribution of RE sources to the country's energy generation mix is abysmal. At present, the share of RE in the power generation mix is about 0. Paradoxically, Ghana is signatory to several international agreements, including the post United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that aim at tackling climate change and variability through environmentally sustainable development pathways such as the enhancement of RETs.
In practice, however, the development trajectories being pursued are unsustainable and not in sync with these goals UNEP What is more, the government envisions increasing thermal power generation to about clean energy and trading ltd ghana per cent in the next decade.
This article aims to unravel the complexity of stakeholders' alignments and interests with regard to policies to support RE investment in Ghana. Moreover, this article contributes to clean energy and trading ltd ghana the literature on the understudied political economy of energy transitions Power et al. The article is structured into seven sections. Following this introductory section is Section 2, which reviews literature on the political economy of RE investment. Section 3 discusses the historical policy and institutional regimes of Ghana's energy sector.
Section 4 details the Political Economy Analysis PEA methodological perspectives underpinning this article and how the binding constraints on RE investment in Ghana were identified, as well as the mapping of promising policies with potential to address these constraints. Discussions and analyses of the obstructing factors of the key policies and initiatives fundamental to RE investment are encapsulated in Section 5.
Section 6 covers clean energy and trading ltd ghana intervention policies, while Section 7 provides the conclusion. They accounted for about 80 per cent of the world's total primary energy supply and 64 per cent of electricity generation in Jacobsson and Lauber In recent times, however, there are increasing calls for a paradigm shift towards RE generation ibid.
These calls are aimed at ensuring the mitigation of greenhouse gas GHG emissions from fossil fuel consumption. Nonetheless, the adoption of RETs is met with stiff opposition, mainly from high-profile fossil fuel energy players, who obstruct the process and subsequently promote their interest Barnett, Stockbridge and Kingsmill Additionally, the uncertainty related to who bears the cost of the transition to clean energy landscapes, especially in developing countries, further obstructs the process Newell and Mulvaney A complete understanding of the reasons behind such opposition is crucial for the successful development of RE since that will help provide sustainable solutions to the root causes reinforcing the low investment in a developing country such as Ghana.
A PEA approach provides the necessary scope to unearth clean energy and trading ltd ghana reasons that fuel opposition from stakeholders to investment in RE. It could also help to consolidate the interests of all energy players in order to facilitate the paradigm shift of accelerating the rate of development of RETs.
According to Arndtthe political economy PE concept has a broad range of applications and offers in-depth analysis of what an ordinary study may not be able to tease out. For instance, a PE application to an organisation could enhance a better understanding of the interaction between sets of major economic and sociopolitical forces that affect collective behaviour and performances within such an organisation Achrol, Reve and Stern In the energy clean energy and trading ltd ghana, its application aids in the understanding of the complexity surrounding clean energy transitional issues — justice, injustice, losers, and winners Newell and Mulvaney ; Baker, Newell and Phillips ; Power et al.
According to Isoaho, Goritz and Schulzthe recent application of PEA in energy-related issues such as RE development is due to the fact that socio-technical literature failed to address adequately the complexity and dynamics of clean energy development. A Clean energy and trading ltd ghana should therefore identify all forms of:.
Unequivocally, the use of PEA should help to understand why socially and economically, desirable plans and policies are regarded as being difficult to be implemented by policymakers Barnett et al. Khanusing a PEA approach, studied the situation under which a ruling government or a coalition in the power sector will promote clean energy development. He documents that a change towards clean energy transition is most likely to happen if governments or ruling coalitions face pressure from powerful groups in society who either are negatively affected by current non-renewable energy sources or stand to benefit from clean energy promotion.
In the study by Tsebeliswhich focuses on India, PEA underpins the analysis on the extent to which RE sources can be developed to their fullest capacity in the country. The study concludes that, in order to bring RE development into the policy clean energy and trading ltd ghana, stakeholders with vested interests and veto powers — such as the mining companies, and the coal power producers — are critical to breaking strong oppositions to RE development.
Other works Newell and Mulvaneyhowever, reiterate the need to be mindful of the justice dimension of 'clean energy' or low-carbon transition amid the quest for success. In related studies, Fattouh and El-Katiri and Oda and Tsujita also applied PEA to study factors that prevent governments and energy players from implementing certain economic and environmental policies.
Citizenry agitations for fair share of natural resources oils and fossil resources and grid extension and the fear of losing elections by political actors emerged strongly as factors accounting for the non-implementation of such policies.
The Middle East and North Africa MENA region lends clear evidence to this, in which the incessant clean energy and trading ltd ghana and agitations waged by the citizenry for social equity and clean energy and trading ltd ghana sharing of national resources have compelled governments to subsidise fossil fuel energy sources Fattouh and El-Katiri In Asia, Commander observes similar occurrences, as political unrest and protests forced governments to keep prices of petrol and diesel substantively lower than international prices between and Such agitations from citizens and the fear of losing political power have the effect of influencing governments and policymakers to overlook viable RE development policies.
Oda and Tsujita argue that these protests and political unrest are more common in jurisdictions that lack democratic institutions. Brown and Mobarak further argue that countries without democratic political systems and institutional structures often use energy allocations and subsidies as tools for political advantage. Supporting this view, Scott and Seth submit that often, in non-democratic states, electricity distribution favours industries rather than residential areas, which becomes a source of the protest.
Such motives and actions greatly affect the development of RE. Clean energy and trading ltd ghana to Sdralevich et al. Indicative of the above literature is the increasing economic and environmental costs of fossil fuel faced by many developing economies, yet RE sources in these economies remain significantly underdeveloped through inadequate investments.
These were owned by individuals, institutions, and towns that could afford them. The first public power plant was established in in Sekondi and was used to power the operations and activities of the then Gold Coast Railway Administration GCRA ibid. Insmall-scale public electricity was established and operated by the then public works department PWD to electrify major towns in Ghana.
It covered the Accra township and later incoverage was extended to Koforidua. During this era, determination of power generation was clean energy and trading ltd ghana out solely by Ghana's colonial leaders, some public institutions such as PWD and GCRAand individuals who were financially sound to own and operate generator sets. Issues of climate change and RE development were non-existent in the objectives of energy generation as they were not subjects of clean energy and trading ltd ghana concern at the time.
Energy security and to some extent RE development, however, became more relevant in the 'Hydro Years' of power generation in Ghana. The desire to develop Ghana's huge bauxite reserves as part of having integrated the bauxite and aluminium industries marked the beginning of the hydro years ibid.
The VRA was mandated to foresee the construction of the Akosombo dam, its power station as well as the generation of electricity ibid. This enhanced the setting up of vibrant institutions to oversee adequate production of energy that fed industries and businesses, and subsequently offered job opportunities in diverse forms. Energy security emerged as an important element under this era because other initiatives were introduced to develop more hydro sites in addition to the Akosombo Power Plant Edjekumhene, Amadu and Brew-Hammond Unlike the pre-hydro years, this era marked the beginning of modern electricity clean energy and trading ltd ghana in Ghana and did involve the participation of several stakeholders.
The thermal clean energy and trading ltd ghana phase of Ghana's power sector was highly driven by energy security issues and little about the development of other competitive energy resources. Climate change mitigation issues were of little concern as evidence shows that the development of the power sector within this era propelled the increase in the country's carbon footprint.
According to Opam and Turksonthis era was necessitated by the adverse effect of the prolonged drought that occurred between and in the country. On the basis of the drought, the generation potentials of the existing two hydro power plants Akosombo and Kpong were affected as the available water was far below the minimum operating level ibid.
The shortage in electricity supply amid the growing energy demand sector necessitated the major reformation of the power sector. The study recommended thermal as part of Ghana's energy mix. Lack of competitiveness and private sector participation, coupled with the poor financial performance of Ghana's power sector, drove its reformation in the s.
According to Opam and Turksonsuch factors made Ghana's traditional financiers e. This came at the time when the World Bank was unwilling to finance non-performing energy sectors in Africa unless issues of transparency, regulation, importation of services, commercialisation and corporatisation, commitment lending, and private investment were met by energy sectors Amoako-Tuffor and Asamoah However, the motives for undertaking this reform were not only limited to the financial challenges confronting the sector.
According to Opam, UN ECOSOC and UN ECAissues of productivity losses of the overall economy as a result of the ineffective operation of the then power sector, coupled with rapid power interruptions and high cost associated with back-ups, necessitated the reform.
Overwhelming debt burdens, supply-side preferences, and under-utilised energy conservation practices were other factors that influenced the decision to reform Ghana's power sector ibid. Increasing efficiency of asset utilisation, and making necessary policies and institutional changes that will ensure economic equity were other supplementary motives for initiating the reform Sustainable Energy Regulation and Policymaking for Africa, n.
The Government of Ghana, upon agreeing to the terms and requirements of the World Bank, contracted SYNEX Consulting Engineers of Chile to provide policy directions that could ensure competition and engagement of private investors Edjekumhene et al.
Inthe firm proposed a new power market with policy directions that aimed at meeting the requirements of the World Bank. Some of the policy recommendations by the firm were free entry of private investors on the power generation side as well as decentralisation of the distribution arm of the sector; establishment of an Economic Load Dispatch Centre that will be responsible for planning the operation of the system so as to minimise operating costs; and the existence of different distributors with each operating in a defined concession area SYNEX Consulting Engineerscited in Edjekumhene et al.
Following these policy recommendations, the government issued a statement on 'Power Sector Policy' to serve as a framework that meets the regulatory and transparency requirements of the World Bank. Obligations such as the assignment of mandates for power generation, transmission and distribution, promoting a competitive power market, a regulatory framework for price and tariff revision, and establishment of an institutional framework, rested on the shoulders of the PSRC ibid.
Arguably, the past institutional and policy regimes of the energy sector of Ghana from the pre-hydro era to the early s buttressed the dominant existing hydro and thermal energy infrastructural niches in the country. Indeed, it has been argued that the energy infrastructures in most parts of the global South are clean energy and trading ltd ghana to historical antecedents in the socioeconomic clean energy and trading ltd ghana political realms, and hence, their development is shaped by various path dependencies Power et al.
Moreover, the enthusiasm and contestations exuded by the two dominant political parties the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress in the wake of the discovery of oil in Phillips, Hailwood and Brooksand the subsequent clean energy and trading ltd ghana gas infrastructure development compared to the weak RE infrastructure development, vindicate the existing infrastructural dominance of thermal-led energy.
According to Schmitzan application of the PEA in climate change issues should be able to bring out relevant sector players who by their actions and policy priorities promote or obstruct such initiatives.
It examines the complexities actors, institutions, and motivations and is based on identifying the various stakeholders involved, including their diverse priorities. This, therefore, demands the mapping of identified stakeholders in a power priority matrix according to their direct and indirect influence on policymaking and implementation, and analysing their competing narratives.
On the other hand, the PEA framework developed by Barnett et al. The problem identification stage is in synchrony with Schmitz's position of 'setting out the key challenge' from the onset. Thus, key elements including problem identification already captured in Section 1 as low investment in the renewable energy sector in Ghana ; diagnosis identification of binding constraints to renewable energy investments ; prognosis mapping of promising policies ; mapping of stakeholders to ascertain the varied narratives; and identification of alternative interventions, constitute the analytical framework for this study.
The identification of the binding constraints to investment in renewable energy investment in Ghana was carried out by a previous study by Pueyo et al. Using a framework drawing from growth diagnostics Hausmann, Rodrik and Velascothat research accumulated evidence through the analysis of indicators and interviews to rank constraints in Ghana according to their importance, or 'binding' character.
The evidence accumulated in Ghana pointed at constraints preventing sufficient returns to investment at an acceptable risk and also at constraints limiting the availability of adequate finance for RE investment. The four factors damaging the risk-return profile of investment relate to an unreliable off-taker, poor regulation, macroeconomic imbalances, and corruption.
On the other hand, scarce domestic finance and high returns expectations for short-term loans are behind the insufficient supply of finance Pueyo et al. This article goes beyond the identification of key constraints to analyse the political economy of their solutions.
High-profile representatives of 31 organisations, 3 belonging to private and public sectors; clean energy and trading ltd ghana society organisations; academia; the utilities; and research thinktanks that have key interest, as well as playing significant roles in the energy landscapes and regimes development in the country, were sampled randomly after all relevant stakeholders were mapped, for both the administration of in-depth interviews and questionnaires from June to October Drawing on the data from the in-depth interviews, three binding constraints to RE investment in Ghana were unearthed through prioritisation by interviewees: Similarly, relevant potential policies that could have been used to help unlock these binding constraints, but did not, were mapped through a review of various literature sources and the in-depth interviews Table 2.