The utilities sector is central to Ghana’s industrial and economic development, providing the necessary power to fuel day-to-day activities as well as future growth. The electricity segment delivers supply through a combination of hydropower, thermal and renewable power generation, with a view to meeting growing demand. In parallel, the water and sanitation segment focuses on providing access to clean water and sanitation services, with ongoing initiatives to enhance water and electricity coverage by 2030.

Structure & Oversight

The Ministry of Energy (MoE) is the main government authority for the utilities sector, with its power directorate directly responsible for electricity. Ghana Grid Company is solely responsible for the transmission network, while the Electricity Company of Ghana is the larger of the country’s two state-owned distribution companies – the other being the Northern Electricity Distribution Company, a subsidiary of the Volta River Authority (VRA) power generation firm. There is a third, private distributor – the Enclave Power Company – which operates exclusively in the Tema Free Zone Enclave in Greater Accra.

In February 2020 the MoE transferred the responsibilities of the old Renewable Energy Authority to the state-owned power generation company Bui Power Authority (BPA), making it Ghana’s lead agency in this field. In terms of regulation, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission is the multi-sector regulator that oversees the pricing and provision of electricity and water. Lastly, the Energy Commission is the technical regulator of the electricity, natural gas and renewable energy segments, and advises the government on energy matters.

Performance & Size

Ghana’s electricity market is one of the top performers in Africa. In the World Bank’s April 2023 “Africa’s Pulse” report, which evaluated the rate of power access in countries across Africa in the 2015-21 period, Ghana received the top spot with an overall score of 81.2%; followed by Côte d’Ivoire, at 77%; Kenya, at 76%; Senegal, at 73.5%; Nigeria, at 69.1%; Rwanda, at 65%; and the Gambia, at 61%. The Energy Commission estimated that 88.8% of the country’s population had access to electricity in 2022. The government aims to increase this figure to 100% by 2030.

According to International Energy Agency data, hydropower was the only significant source of electricity generation in the country up until 1997, with that year seeing oil-based thermal generation begin. Natural gas entered the mix in 2009, and solar and wind power followed in 2013.

In 2022 the primary power source was oil, supplying an estimated 33.6% of total energy, followed by biomass at 32.4%, while natural gas and hydropower supplied 28.2% and 5.7%, respectively. Ghana generated around 0.1% of its power from solar that year, although renewable capacity development is ongoing, with the government aiming to generate 10% of domestic power from renewables by 2030.

In 2022 the Energy Commission reported a total electricity consumption of 17,500 GWh, reflecting a 3.7% increase from the previous year. That year the industrial sector was the country’s top power consumer, with a total consumption of 7428 GWh, or 42% of the total. The residential sector followed closely, at 7111 GWh, or 41%, having represented the largest consumer of electricity in the 2019-21 period, possibly due to the adoption of social-distancing measures to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Meanwhile, services accounted for 2965 GWh, or 17% of electricity consumption, in 2022. Notably, the country witnessed a 22.8% increase in electricity consumption between 2019 and 2022.

Power Generation

Since the 1980s the generation subsector has included a growing mix of private operators and public outfits like the VRA and the BPA. In December 2022 there were 22 operational power plants in the country, with a total installed capacity of nearly 5000 MW and a net dependable capacity of 4390 MW. The VRA was the operator of 46% of the total capacity, while independent power producers (IPPs) accounted for 45% and the BPA oversaw the remaining 9%.

With an installed capacity of 2532 MW, the stateowned VRA is the largest power generation firm in Ghana and one of two companies in the hydroelectric segment, alongside the BPA. It operates two hydroelectric dams on the Volta River: the 1020-MW Akosombo Dam – Ghana’s largest plant in terms of generation capacity – and the 160-MW Kpong Dam. On the thermal front, it owns the 330-MW Takoradi-1 thermal power plant and has a 10% ownership stake in the 330-MW Takoradi-2 thermal power plant, with Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, known as TAQA, holding the remaining 90%. It also operates the 220-MW Kpone and the 132-MW Takoradi-3 thermal power plants, the latter of which was offline as of December 2023, with plans to resume operations in 2024. In terms of solar, the VRA operates 2.5-MW and 6.5-MW solar plants at Navrongo and Lawra in the Upper East and Upper West regions, respectively.

The BPA runs the 404-MW hydroelectric Bui Generating Station, as well as a number of other renewable energy projects. These include the Tsatsadu Micro Hydropower Project; a 250-MW solar plant in the Bui enclave, 51 MW of which was commissioned as of December 2023; and a 5-MW floating solar photovoltaic (PV) project on the Bui Reservoir – the first of its kind in Ghana and West Africa.

Private operators play a significant role in power generation in Ghana, especially in terms of thermal generation, which uses hydrocarbons. Notable IPPs include Turkey’s Karpowership Ghana, with its 470-MW floating power plants; Turkey’s Aksa Energy, responsible for a 370-MW plant in Tema; Sunon Asogli Power, jointly owned by Shenzhen Energy and the China Africa Development Fund and responsible for 360 MW of capacity; Cenpower Generation, which runs the 360-MW Kpone Independent Power Plant; Amandi Energy, which oversees a 210-MW plant near Takoradi; and local firm Cenit Energy, which operates the 110-MW Cenit combustion plant in Tema.

Meeting Demand

While overcapacity has been a central concern in the electricity generation segment in previous years, demand has grown substantially alongside increased industrial activity and population growth. Projected demand for 2023 plus an 18% planning reserve margin stood at approximately 4705 MW. With total dependable generation expected to reach 4660 MW that year – plus a 31.7% actual reserve margin – the country is expected to experience a surplus of 13.7%. If no new generation projects are brought on-line, however, Ghana could experience a generation deficit by 2026, underlining the importance of continued investment in new sources of energy, power plants and capacity-expansion projects. In order to maintain domestic energy security, it is anticipated that 51 MW and 392 MW of new generation capacity will need to be purchased or come on-line by 2026 and 2027, respectively.

According to analytics company GlobalData, energy demand is rising by 10% annually. In order to supplement the national grid and boost access to remote communities – thereby increasing the rate of availability of electricity to at least 95% by 2025 – the government has focused on expanding minigrids and standalone renewable energy solutions.

A number of power generation projects are set to come on-line in the near future. In January 2022 the government handed over operations of the 250-MW Ameri Power Plant to the VRA, with plans to move the plant from Aboadze to Kumasi to improve the reliability of power in the Central and Northern regions. Preparatory works for the proposed site were under way but the contract for relocation had not been approved by Parliament as of December 2023. The relocation is expected to cost $35m, managed and funded by Ameri, which will train VRA staff at the plant for the first three years of operations.

In terms of IPP-led projects, the second phase of the gas-fired Bridge Power Project came on-line in September 2023. Overseen by Ghanaian company Early Power and located in Tema, the plant has a total installed capacity of 424 MW.

New Avenues

Beyond its traditional reliance on hydropower and thermal generation, Ghana is turning to alternative sources of energy to help meet demand. Natural gas consumption has risen notably, from 0.1% of the energy mix in 2009 to 28.2% in 2022, parallel to the expansion of the domestic gas industry. Meanwhile, the government aims to achieve 10% non-hydro renewable energy penetration in the domestic energy mix by 2030.

Ghana has one of the most advanced new-build nuclear energy programmes in Africa, with efforts to develop civil nuclear power plants starting in 2008 with the establishment of the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organisation. Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) was established to be the eventual operator of the country’s first plant, which is expected to be built by 2030. In September 2023 the NPG announced it had selected two sites for the 1000-MW plant: Nsuban in the Western Region and Obotan in the Central Region. The country was in talks with potential venders and partners to construct the plant as of the second quarter of 2023.


The country is targeting the solar and wind segments for strategic expansion. The 2011 Renewable Energy Act established a favourable regulatory environment and incentives to promote investment in the sector. One key goal of the 2019 Integrated Power Sector Master Plan, updated in March 2023, is to construct significant onshore wind and solar PV infrastructure between 2022 and 2030. The Renewable Energy Master Plan, announced in 2019 with a target implementation date of 2030, aims to promote and develop Ghana’s abundant renewable energy resources to spur economic growth, enhance social conditions and mitigate the consequences of climate change. Lastly, the government’s efforts to raise the renewable energy goal from 10% to 30% by 2030 have further brightened the outlook for the domestic renewable energy market.

Renewable capacity in Ghana is projected to expand to 1969.5 MW by 2035 at a compound annual growth rate of 19.1%, according to GlobalData. “A focus on renewable energy is clearly the most logical path for Ghana, so that it positions itself favourably within the global green energy transition,” Kofi Amoa-Abban, CEO of Ghana-based upstream oil and gas company Rigworld Services, told OBG. “This will help it secure high-value investment, which will make the domestic energy sector cleaner and provide greater capacity for the country as a whole.”


While solar made up less than 1% of the domestic energy mix in 2022, ongoing projects and favourable natural conditions are set to ensure continued expansion in the coming years. As part of its net-zero plans, Ghana is targeting around 150 GW of solar PV capacity by 2060, highlighting the need for investment in this expanding segment.

Ghana’s tropical location, characterised by high solar irradiation levels, averaging 5.5 KWh per sq metre per day in the northern regions, positions it as an ideal site for solar energy production. The abundance of solar resources presents a key opportunity for the construction of large-scale solar farms and distributed networks across the country.

The growing use of solar energy as a renewable energy source has the potential to boost efforts to diversify domestic energy supply, and help to address issues related to inconsistent electricity availability in many locations. Off-grid solar power systems are a vital element of rural electrification in the country, supplying steady and cost-effective electricity to residences, businesses and health care facilities in areas without access to the national grid. In September 2023 the MoE opened the bidding process for the installation of 35 solar mini-grids in rural and lakeside communities across the country.

As of October 2023 Ghana had some 165 MW of installed solar capacity. In addition to VRA- and BPA-operated projects, two IPP-led projects contributed 20 MW each to the national energy mix as of December 2022: the BXC solar park operated by BXC Company Ghana since January 2016, and the Meinergy Ghana solar PV park operated by West Africa-focused PV firm Meinergy. The VRA had reportedly completed phase two of the Kaleo solar project as of October 2023, expanding its installed capacity from 13 MW to 35 MW.

As Ghana’s primary agency in the field of renewable energy, the BPA is the focus of various expansion plans for domestic solar capacity. In 2020 the BPA received a mandate to expand its Bui solar project to a total capacity of 250 MW, with completion forecast in 2024. Additionally, in August 2023 South African financial services company Absa Bank provided the company with a $24m green corporate loan to build a 100-MW solar power plant.


Ghana has the potential for developing significant wind energy generation capacity. The coastal regions have wind speeds of up to 8.3 metres per second, making them ideal for producing energy. According to the Energy Commission, the gross wind resource potential is 2000 MW. While the country had no operational wind farms as of December 2023, a number of projects were in development.

One key example of investment in wind energy is the Ayitepa Wind Farm, a 225-MW project under development by Netherlands-based IPP Lekela Power, engineering company NEK Ghana and Upwind Ayitepa. Located in the Greater Accra Region, it is set to become Ghana’s first wind farm and West Africa’s largest wind power project. Although the project was still in the pre-construction phase as of the end of 2023, when completed it is set to provide enough electricity for more than 150,000 households. Additionally, the VRA has been working with Denmark’s Vestas and Egypt’s El Sewedy to identify at four sites in the south suitable for the construction of wind farms with a cumulative capacity of 150 MW.


The country is seeking investment to support its renewable energy targets. The Energy Transition and Investment Plan, announced in September 2023, estimates that Ghana will need more than $550bn in capital investment to achieve net zero by 2060, with the majority of spending going to the transport and power sectors.

In September 2022 the government signed a grant agreement worth $69.9m with the African Development Bank, the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) and the Swiss government to support the implementation of the CIF’s Scaling-Up Renewable Energy Programme. The programme’s four main agendas include the provision of solar PV-based net metering with battery storage; utility-scale solar PV and wind power generation; standalone PV systems; and technical assistance to expand the sector.

The decreasing cost of renewable energy technologies has driven the growth of the industry, making solar and wind energy more economically feasible alternatives to fossil fuel-based generation. Additionally, a number of fiscal measures aim to make renewable energy development a more attractive destination for investment. In terms of construction, solar panels are imported to Ghana duty-free, but a 5% duty is imposed if pre-assembled into a generating set, like solar home systems. Batteries and wind turbines have an import duty of 20% and 5%, respectively. Batteries, wind turbines and solar panels all fall under the value-added tax rate of 15%.

Water & Sanitation

The Ghana Water Company (GWC) is the state utility company tasked with providing water to urban areas across the country. The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources oversees water policy, as well as the GWC’s operations, while the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) regulates the provision of drinking water and sanitation services to small towns and rural communities. The GWC manages 88 urban water supply systems, producing an average of 871,496 cu metres daily. Given an estimated demand of 1.13m cu metres nationwide, this translates into an urban water supply coverage of 77%.

One of the enduring challenges in Ghana regarding access to clean water lies in the disparities between urban and rural areas. A key policy in this regard is the CWSA-led Water Sector Strategic Development Plan 2012-25, which evaluates and oversees water service delivery in urban and peri-urban communities, as well as rural and small towns. The programme, and the broader government push for water access, has seen substantial progress, with the UN citing Ghana as showing the fastest improvement in safe drinking water access in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000.

In 2021, 87.7% of Ghanaians had access to basic drinking water, according to the most recent census. However, a significant disparity exists between urban and rural areas, with 96.4% of the urban population having access to basic water services, compared to 74.4% of the rural population. Pipe-born water accounted for 28.8% of total usage. By 2030 the government aims to connect about 70% of households in urban areas and 50% in rural areas to a safely managed piped water network.


The utilities sector is expected to experience robust growth over the coming decade alongside positive macroeconomic trends. With increasing focus placed on climate change and the need to reduce emissions, Ghana is embracing clean and sustainable energy sources. Although electricity generation is currently dominated by hydrocarbons, the government’s commitment to achieving 10% renewable energy penetration by 2030 signals a strategic shift in policy with more solar and wind energy expected in the energy mix going forwards.