The development of a framework for the uptake of net zero energy buildings in Ghana

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For decades Ghana’s economy has been fuelled by the abundant inexpensive hydropower. As a developing economy, Ghana’s electricity demand has been relatively low, though rising in recent times due to increasing economic growth, urbanisation and industrial activities. However, the rapid demand growth, as well as periodic hydrological changes leaves the country increasingly reliant on expensive oil and gas-based generation power plants, with a resultant drain on the national economy. The main electricity generation company, the Volta River Authority, is not able to generate enough electricity for all the demand sectors. The electricity supply-demand margins - the difference between peak demand and available supply - of the country fall short of the recommended engineering practice and thus presents a high supply security risk. The country has been experiencing an increase in the frequency of power cuts over the last ten years. It is clear that Ghana will have to expand and diversify its generation capacity in order to improve supply security. This study aims to assess the availability of renewable energy resources, examine the economic and environmental benefits of a promising renewable energy concept i.e. net zero energy buildings to ensure the efficient production and use of the Ghana's renewable energy resources, and develop a framework for the uptake of net zero energy. This was done by collecting data on the current energy system and its effect on people in Kumasi. It was found out that the current energy system causes huge losses in productivity and profit for a lot of people in Ghana. Through literature it was found out that the current high dependence on thermal sources of energy poses a lot of harmful effects to the environment. In order to solve these issues it was recommended that the country looks at developing its renewable energy resources through the concept of net zero energy buildings
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award Degree of Master of Science.
Energy balance, Zero energy