In the first week of March 2023, the project team met in Ghana for the closing workshop and visited the field sites. At the end of this month, the EnerSHelF project will end after four years of cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on improving and disseminating marketable PV-based energy solutions for health facilities in Ghana. The closing event was successful in disseminating the research results to relevant stakeholders.
The workshop started with presentations by the principal investigators of EnerSHelF – giving a short introduction to the project and welcoming the participants from academia, media, governmental agencies, industry, sectoral associations, health facilities, and international donors. It was followed by two parallel sessions and a moderated panel discussion with representatives of the project, the Ministry of Health, and the Ghana Health Service.
During the parallel sessions, the different work packages presented their research findings. One session aimed at technical considerations while the other targeted strategic considerations. A comprehensive report on the closing event will be published later on this website. You can also have a look at our policy briefs to learn more about project results.
Within work package 4, Jonas Bauhof from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg is analysing the interdisciplinary cooperation and exchange of the different work packages involved in the project.
What is your role in the EnerSHelF project?
As a distinct feature of the EnerSHelF project, besides the disciplinary work of the technical, natural, and social sciences, we are also aiming to understand processes of cooperation between the different disciplines in such an interdisciplinary research setting. My role is to identify the areas of cooperation and possible barriers and enablers of interdisciplinary research. These “lessons-learned” can be beneficial for future projects with a similar set-up.
Since the last time, we continued to gain insights from our geospatial data by analysing it together with newer, more up-to-date datasets. We have now, for example, a better understanding of the number of hospitals more likely to need electrification, the types and sizes of communities that surround our hospitals, and the population that would be covered by their services. We have been compiling and processing these data, picking attributes and information from them that we think will be more relevant for our final visualization. For this, during the past months we have been thinking of and working on a concept for the development of a web map tool that should display not only the already mentioned datasets, but also our electrification strategy, in a clear and meaningful way.
In late March, Rone Yousif from University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg travelled to Ghana to check and maintain the measurement instruments and solar setup. He was accompanied by Mohammed Abass from WestfalenWIND. Over the course of three weeks, they travelled to the three pilot sites and met with the Ghanian project partners. The following blogpost highlights the different steps of their journey to give the reader an understanding of the practical work in the field.
The last time we spoke, you were at the planning stage of your data collection in Ghana. Can you state again, what it is you are trying to find out with your research?
As explained in our last interview, work package 1.1 deals with the political economy of sustainable energy transition in the Ghana Health and Energy sectors. Specifically, we seek to the analyse the factors that influence institutional or policy change towards clean energy transitions in Ghana with specific emphasis on solar PVs.
How is your data collection proceeding?
So far, the first round of data collection has been concluded. After experiencing some difficulties during the initial stages due in part to the global Covid-19 pandemic, we managed to successfully conduct 19 qualitative interviews with key stakeholders at the national level in Ghana. The categories or groups of stakeholders interviewed included the following: Health and energy policy makers, sector regulators, donor institutions and international agents, NGOs and civil society groups within the health and energy space, and finally independent experts. A follow up or mopping up round for a few stakeholders interviewed is planned for June 2022.
Interview with Jonas Bauhof and Susanne von Itter from EADI on the role of communication work for research projects.
EADI is the knowledge and network partner for the EnerSHelF project. Can you explain to us, what is entailed in this role?
We are responsible of disseminating the project’s research results both to our stakeholders but also the public. For this, we use different forms of communication and are also involved in planning network events and managing the website. By doing so, we aim to enhance the uptake of research results among relevant stakeholders in academia and beyond. It is essential to increase the real-world impact of the EnerSHelF project – also past its funding period. As the leading European network in the field of development studies, EADI can use its network to reach out to relevant outputs and institutions. This helps us to reach out to a broad set of actors in the field.
In 2019, 770 million people were without access to electricity globally. They are left without the possibility of using electric light at night, powering refrigerators and stoves, or charging their phones and other devices. Until 2019, the number constantly decreased but the Covid-19 pandemic reversed the trend. In its World Energy Outlook 2021 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that between 2019 and 2021 the global number of people without access to electricity stuck at its pre-crisis level – after seeing improvements by around 9% annually since 2015. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), for the first time since 2013, the numbers are likely to have even increased in 2020.
In this interview, Paul David Bohn from Cologne University of Applied Sciences talks about his role in the EnerSHelF project. He continues the work of Silvan Rummeny on an advisor and planning tool for Photovoltaic-diesel-hybrid systems.
In autumn 2021, you took over the role of Silvan Rummeny, who was working in work package 3.3. Can you tell us what his – and now your – work entails?
The main subject of work package 3.3. is the development of an advisor and planning tool for micro grids. The acronym for this tool is Micro Grid User Energy Planning TooL (MiGUEL). MiGUEL is used to design, simulate and evaluate Photovoltaic (PV)-diesel-hybrid systems for Ghanaian health facilities. The goal is to provide users with suitable solutions on how to design a cost-effective micro grid, contributing to fulfil the sustainable development goals and affiliated roadmaps. The target groups are project developers, engineering companies, and private as well as public grid operators who want to implement micro or mini grids. Silvan Rummeny started designing MiGUEL and I took over the development since he left EnerSHelF.
Interview with Dr. Windmanadga Sawadogo from University of Augsburg. He talks about his recent trip to the EnerSHelF field sites and about processing the collected meteorological data.
You are working in WP 3.2, focusing on high-resolution meteorological forecasts for Ghana. Can you explain how your work contributes to the overall aim of the EnerSHelF project to improve and disseminate marketable PV-based energy solutions for health facilities in Ghana?
The work of the University Augsburg is to produce weather forecasts for the three pilot sites and to spread the data to different partners in the project. For this, I am working closely with Samer Chaaraoui from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (H-BRS), as he needs the forecasting data to improve the accuracy of his models for photovoltaic-hybrid systems. Currently, we are at the stage where everything is ready, and we are running the forecasts for the three sites every day. The collected data are kept at our servers at the KIT campus at Garmisch-Partenkirchen while we are waiting for the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) from our partner WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) to upload the data so that everyone can easily access the data.