In a world where all our energy is generated by the interaction of advanced technology and the forces of nature – for decades this sounded like a utopian dream straight out of a science fiction novel. However in the year 2020, this will no longer be a fantasy, but the model of the future, with which we will do good for our planet and our progress.
One company that has long seen this vision not just as a dream but as an ecological solution for the future is ecoligo GmbH, with whom we are also working on our new, solar-powered chocolate factory. The company was founded by Martin Baart and Markus Schwaninger after they had worked for years on solar projects in Ghana and Kenya. They saw that despite the advantages that companies had by using solar systems, projects were not implemented due to lack of financing. Furthermore, the companies did not want to install and maintain a system.The two entrepreneurs solved this by financing the projects through the crowdinvesting platform www.ecoligo.investments and offering a fully maintained solution to the customers. Now before we take a closer look at ecoligo and its business philosophy, it is worth taking a look at the current situation in Ghana.
A typical Solar installation of ecoligo. Photo: ecoligo GmbH
How exactly is the situation in Ghana?
Solar energy is on its way to become an important source of renewable energy in Ghana. The country has a good solar energy potential, with solar radiation reaching between 4.5 and 6.0 kWh/m2 per day. Following international trends, solar energy in Ghana has attracted more investment than any other energy technology in the last three years. Ghana’s enormous potential in the field of solar energy was identified as a solution to stabilize the electricity supply. In an energy sector where thermal power plants have gained importance during dry periods and hydroelectric power plants are overloaded as soon as thermal power plants have problems with the energy supply, solar energy is a necessary alternative.
Much effort has been made by the government to create a favourable environment for solar power plants. The goal of national energy policy in the field of renewable energy is to “increase the share of renewable energy in the overall national energy mix and ensure its efficient production and use”. The policy goal is to be achieved by the government ensuring that the share of renewable energy in the national energy mix is 10% by 2030.
Unfortunately, Ghana is currently experiencing the major problem of chronic energy shortages. Ghana’s energy sector generates 400-600 megawatts less than the country with its structures needs. The consequence of this is a word which can be translated into German as “An-Aus”: Dumsor. Dumsor describes the condition when the electricity in Ghana completely fails. These periods are unpredictable and cost the country an estimated one billion dollars annually.
If the country is affected by power cuts, alternatives often have to be used. Photo: Prime News Ghana
The role of ecoligo and what they want to improve in Ghana
ecoligo was established with two purposes in mind: To pioneer the global transition to renewable energies and to support sustainable development in emerging economies such as Ghana. Supplying companies with affordable solar power is the key to this: The companies that make use of the solar services offered, not only reduce their energy costs, but also their carbon footprint. The company philosophy can therefore be described as wanting to make it as easy as possible for companies to switch to solar energy by easing any obstacles. The goal is to supply as many companies as possible with solar energy, reduce global CO2 emissions and create a sustainable future.
For ecoligo, Ghana offers huge potential and a great business environment, making it a very emerging market. The economy is growing, which they want to support through their work. Ghana’s energy consumption continues to increase and the country has the potential to leave traditional energy sources behind and build renewable energy sources to meet the growing demand. For this reason, the company considers emerging economies to be central to the transition to clean energy and the fight against the climate crisis.
Many people in Ghana want to go off-grid because of the Dumsor mentioned above. However, ecoligo’s systems are mostly grid-connected, as this is the most cost effective approach, and low costs are essential for companies in emerging markets. The company is looking forward to new developments in renewable energy that will make batteries more affordable and enable more distributed energy. This could also enable ecoligo to further develop its methods and bring even more clean energy to Ghana.
ecoligo and fairafric – a perfect fit
As recently announced, we at fairafric GmbH and fairafric Ghana Limited will work with ecoligo on the construction of our factory in Suhum and launch a project that will provide important solar services for us. We strongly believe that ecoligo GmbH wants to boost the economy in Ghana and protect nature at the same time. This is in line with our philosophy. Martin Baart, the CEO of ecoligo, worked and lived in Ghana for several years before founding ecoligo. The new Country Manager, Doreen, is a Ghanaian citizen who has just returned from a few years of work in South Africa. When installing the systems, the company works with local partners and employ locals wherever possible, as it is important for them to generate added value in the community also and in spite of having a German headquarter.