Feb 262012

Sunshine city switched on

The Ghana Sun

23 February 2062

At a special ceremony attended by dignitaries from all over Africa, the President of Ghana threw the switch that connected solar panels on the roof of the capital’s parliament buildings to the Accra Solar Energy Board, thereby completing the scheme to generate all the city’s electricity from solar sources.

“Accra is now the first city on Earth with more than a million inhabitants that is totally powered by sunlight”, he said. “The city has one of the best electricity storage systems in the world and this can store up to a week’s supply of power. Although many thought it would be impossible to meet all of Accra’s electricity demands from solar energy this has been achieved thanks to a concerted effort by residents in all localities who fitted solar panels to their roofs and outbuildings. I thank them all.”

Public buildings, shops, factories, warehouses, and office blocks have undergone a massive window replacement programme, and even north-facing surfaces have been fitted with dye-sensitised panels, which can generate electricity even when not in direct sunlight. The cost of the ten-year programme was funded from a levy on cocoa and palm oil exports which are the main source of the country’s wealth. Home owners were able to claim 75% of the cost of installing solar panels from the levy.