Green, Yellow, and Red – How a Traffic Light System Could Guide the Users at the Health Facilities in Ghana

Interview with Steven Denk from WestfalenWIND, project leader of EnerSHelF’s work package 2. He explains the importance of an easy and accessible communication to guide the users of the PV solar system at the three health facilities.

Work package 2 aims to promote user acceptance and sustainability of context-specific and marketable PV-based energy solutions. What does this mean in the local context of Ghana, can you explain?

This means that we will try to create an understanding of electricity generation and consumption among the local population that gets in touch with the system. To achieve this, we will choose a simple graphical display, which will guide the users to ensure the optimal usage of solar power in a comprehensible way.

One of our ideas is to base it on a traffic light system, which displays all available information, bundled as a result in three distinguished recommendations for action:

Red – it is best to reduce consumption as much as possible.
Yellow – please evaluate what is really needed.
Green – you are now welcome to consume (without hesitation).

Based on regular reports, the system will be optimized constantly to increase the comprehensibility of energy generation and consumption.

How do you address this, what activities have been implemented?

Due to the Covid19 pandemic, no activities have been carried out in the field so far. While the technical equipment has been shipped to Ghana, its installation must be completed before further steps are undertaken. 

However, we are already in the developing process regarding the graphical display. Simple and understandable communication is key to ensure the optimal utilization. By doing so, we hope to reach the local population and encourage them to transfer the experiences and understanding of the EnerSHelF project to their private lives.

What are the results so far, and the next steps?

As mentioned before, we are in the process of preparing the system and all technical devices. This will take a while longer before preliminary results are available.

Steven Denk is a trained banker and has started working for WestfalenWIND in 2015. He is the project leader for the sector of renewable energies, especially the projecting and implementation of wind farms in Ostwestfalen-Lippe. Since 2018, he is working as the business developer of the newly implemented department WestfalenWIND Beyond. The focus of the department is to develop clean, reliable and sustainable energy supply in developing and emerging countries by transferring knowledge and providing up-front investment for energy solutions. They acknowledge their key role as a private actor to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by investing in innovative initiatives to foster sustainable development and green growth.