You are here: HomeBusiness2008 02 25Article 139779

Business News of Monday, 25 February 2008

Source: Daily Guide

Solar factory soon in Ghana

Chamca Holdings, a private company, has announced plans to set up a solar energy producing factory in Ghana by the end of the year.

Executive Chairman of the company, Professor Kubi, who disclosed this to CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE in Accra, said his outfit is currently seeking between 25 and 50 million pounds sterling from Export Credit Guarantee in the United Kingdom to set up the factory, adding that the Ministry of Energy has already given his outfit the green-light-to set up the factory.

"My intension is to set up a Centre for Alternative Technology in Ghana for the production of solar products," Prof. Kubi noted. Chamca Holdings has since last year introduced sunpipes, a solar energy product which brings daylight and natural wind inside buildings onto the Ghanaian market.

Sunpipe is a product that needs no maintenance, produces no heat and is virtually burglar proof and vandal resistant. It is self cleaning and normally installed within three to four hours and can be used in homes, offices, hospitals, schools, hotels or shops. Once installed, it costs nothing to run, offering Ghanaians the opportunity to save thousands of cedis on electricity bills.

The product, designed in the UK, replaces conventional electric lights with sunlight channeled through specially-designed silver-coated aluminum tubes, providing an energy-free source of light.

As the product requires no power to operate, it is also an entirely carbon-neutral light source. By replacing fossil fuelled electric lighting during daylight hours, the Sunpipe can cut electricity usage by up to 75 percent, which can help reduce the dioxide emissions that cause climate change and global warming.

The sunpipe, which is guaranteed for 25 years, can be complimented by a small solar panel that will collect energy during daylight hours for use during the night, powering all manner of electrical equipment from lights, 10 refrigerators and televisions.

The product is particularly suited to Africa because of the strong sunlight the continent experiences all year round, for 12 hours a day in Ghana.

Professor Kubi believes the potential of the sunpipe is so great that the government should immediately ban the use of conventional electric lights during daylight hours.

Prof Kubi is on a mission to spread sunpipes' natural daylight into buildings across Ghana and the whole of the West African sub-region.

As the West African representative of Monodraught, the UK Company that manufactures sunpipes, Prof Kubi chose Ghana as the first country in which to launch the product in the region because it is "very enlightened", although he admits more needs to be done to educate the public on the need for energy conservation to combat climate change.

Prof Kubi, who is also the founder of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana, regrets that Ghana's commitment to renew¬able energy sources has not been maintained.

The company also introduced solar boost wind catchers to offer an alternative to electricity intensive air-conditioning, instead of utilizing natural breezes to cool building interiors.

Ghana's commitment to renewable energy sources has not been maintained.

Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama has already launched the two products in Accra this month.

The Brong Ahafo Municipal Assembly has asked Chamca Holdings to set up the factory in the region, Prof Kubi noted.