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.
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.
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 September, Prof. Katja Bender and Prof. Stefanie Meilinger – project leaders of EnerSHelF – talked with the Bonn Sustainability Portal about the project. You can now read the English version below.
Dear Prof. Bender, dear Prof. Meilinger, you are both coordinating the project “Energy Self-Sufficiency for Health Facilities in Ghana” – EnerSHelF – at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. What are the goals of the project?
In Ghana, like in many developing countries and emerging market economies, blackouts are a common phenomenon. This is critical – especially for health facilities – as the care for patients relies on a reliable energy supply. Without electricity, operations and other procedures are not possible during the night, important instruments are malfunctioning, or the cooling circle of life-saving vaccines and medications are disrupted.
Over the course of this summer, ten enumerators conducted the survey at 200 health facilties for the EnerSHelF project. The enumeration was led by Dr. Kennedy Alatinga and Ana Maria Perez. Read more about the data collection in the interview with Ana Maria Perez below. At the end of the interview, you find impressions by the enumerators.
Update: In July, a group of ten local enumerators started interviewing 200 health facilities all over Ghana. Prior to the start of the survey, they have been trained by Ana Maria Pérez from Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg and Kennedy Alatinga from SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies in Wa. After an intensive training week and a test run of the survey in June, the data collection is well on track. Until now, around 80% of the health facilities have been interviewed. The survey is set to be completed during the month of August.
In March 2021, a group of researchers from the EnerSHelF project published a paper in the IZNE Working Paper Series: “PV-diesel-hybrid system for a hospital in Ghana – Connection of a PV battery storage model to an existing generator model”. Matthias Bebber, leading author of the paper, summarizes the working paper in this article. You can access the paper on the H-BRS website.
In our paper, we present a model of a grid-integrated PV-diesel-hybrid system. The model is based on an existing simulation tool from Cologne University of Applied Sciences and was further developed in the context of this paper. By means of real measurement data of PV yield and electricity consumption of a hospital in Ghana – collected in a period from February 2016 to 2017 – the behaviour of the hybrid system in different scenarios is examined. The influence of power outages and seasonal differences in solar radiation on the use of generator and electricity demand from the public power grid for different battery sizes is considered. Special attention is paid to the meteorological and atmospheric characteristics in Ghana, such as the rainy and dry seasons, as well as the harmattan, a seasonal wind in West Africa that carries a lot of dust.