The Catholic Church in Ghana is set to roll out the Lumen Energy Project. The project which is under the auspices of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference will ensure that facilities in various Arch/Diocese are gradually weaned off the national grid for power supply.
The move is line with the Holy Father’s call for the care for creation in his encyclical Laudato si’. Pope Francis in the apostolic exhortation speaks openly about the devastating effects of the ecological crisis has on people and the planet. He says that climate change is real, urgent and it must be tackled, asking all persons to remember that the climate is “a common good, belonging to all and meant for all”.
It is expected that piloting, which commences with installation of panels will start in all Arch/Diocese in the West African Country at the same time in June 2024.
According to project managers, Lumen Energy will be funded partly by the Church with support from grants and funding raising initiatives.
A November 2023 data by the International Trade Administration indicates that the total installed capacity for existing plants in Ghana is 5,134 Megawatt (MW), with a dependable capacity of 4,710 MW. Thermal generation accounts for the largest share of Ghana’s power generation, representing 66 percent, with hydro accounting for 33 percent. Ghana’s thermal power generation is fueled largely by natural gas, but occasionally using light crude oil and diesel. Ghana exports power to Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso.
The electricity access rate stands at 86.63 percent (2021), with 50 percent of rural residents and 91 percent of urban residents connected to the electricity grid. Ghana’s energy sector has significant debt because of years of accumulated financial shortfalls from power pricing that does not recover full cost, although consumers consider tariffs as relatively high.