Title: Technical and financial analysis of grid-tied solar PV for sustainable irrigation in rural agro-based communities in developing countries: a case study in Ghana

Authors: Benson Ahunu; Richard Opoku; Jerry J. Kponyo; Eric K. Antwi-Agyei

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana ' Department of Telecommunications Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana ' Renewable Energy Technology Transfer (RETT) Project Office, Ghana Energy Commission, Ghana Airways Ave, Accra, Ghana

Abstract: Energy for irrigation in many developing countries is mainly from thermal power plants or biomass/diesel generators with high operational cost. In this work, studies were conducted on grid-tied solar PV irrigation system with net-metering for three irrigation sites in Ghana using an energy balance model. LCOE of US$ 0.23-0.24 per kWh was obtained for the proposed system compared to average cost of US$ 0.34 per kWh of grid electricity. The financial analysis revealed that for a 20-year period, there are potential cost savings of US$ 1,240,800, US$ 913,900 and US$ 756,350 with the proposed system compared to conventional electricity cost for the three irrigation sites, which have energy demands of 242,463 kWh, 189,493 kWh, and 153,183 kWh per year, respectively. It is suggested that for Ghana Government to realise its planting for food and jobs policy, it should invest in cost-effective solar irrigation systems for all-year round farming.

Keywords: sustainable irrigation; grid-tied solar PV; net-metering; levelised cost of energy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJETP.2021.119851

International Journal of Energy Technology and Policy, 2021 Vol.17 No.5, pp.463 - 480

Accepted: 27 Mar 2021
Published online: 06 Dec 2021 *

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