Electricity demand rises 10% in 2020 despite virus

Despite the impact of the global pandemic on economic activities, demand for electricity in the country increased by 10.2 percent last year, the Energy Commission has said.

According to the commission’s 2021 Energy Outlook for Ghana report, the total energy including losses consumed in the country was 19,717 GWh (Gigawatt hours) as against 17,887 GWh in 2019.

“Analysis conducted to determine the impact of COVID-19 on electricity demand in 2020 showed that there was a dip in demand during the partial lockdown, attributed to reduced activities in the industrial and service sectors. However, following the easing of restrictions and the announcement of electricity relief by the government on April 11, 2020, system demand returned to normal such that electricity demand in 2020 grew by 10.2 percent over that of 2019,” said the report.

“This suggests that COVID-19 did not affect load much, as there has not been any significant change in the load trend in 2020,” it added.

The system peak demand last year was 3,090 MW (megawatts), according to the report, an increase of 10.2 percent above the 2019 peak and almost equal to the 10.3 percent annual growth rate of system peak demand in the last five years.

Installed generation capacity, excluding embedded capacity, at the end of 2020 was 5,134 MW, an increase of 2.9 percent over 2019. The dependable capacity was 4,710 MW, 3.1 percent more than in 2019.

The installed capacity increases to 5,288.1 MW (with a dependable capacity of 4,842 MW) if embedded capacity at the sub-transmission (distribution grid) level is added, said the report.

Touching on the outlook, the report projected a power generation capacity of 5,328.1 MW, with a dependable capacity of 4,879 MW, in 2021. The bulk (68.5 percent) of the dependable capacity will come from thermal sources, it added.

The commission said considering the planned unit maintenance and fuel supply situation, it anticipates that up to 4,054 MW of capacity will be made available to meet the expected system peak demand of 3,304 MW in 2021.

Hydropower and thermal plants are projected to generate 7,001 GWh (32.9 percent) and 14,112 GWh (66.4 percent) of total electricity supply in 2021. The remaining supply of 152 GWh, representing 0.7 percent, is expected to be met by other renewables, including solar PV and biogas.


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