Analyzing Actors’ Engagement in Sustainable Energy Planning at the Local Level in Ghana: An Empirical Study
Akrofi, Mark McCarthy
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Actors play a crucial role in sustainable energy development yet interaction in different contexts is an area that has not received much scholarly attention. Sustainable energy transitions theories such as the Multi-Level Perspective, for instance, have been criticized for not describing precisely the nature of the interactions between actors and institutions within socio-technical systems. The goal of this study was to empirically examine local actors’ engagement and its impact on the planning and implementation of sustainable energy initiatives in the villages and remote areas in Ghana. Using the mixed methodology approach, interviews were performed, focus discussion groups were held, and archival data were collected, and social network modeling and case study analysis was performed. Our findings showed that sustainable energy development at the local level depends on an interplay between local government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), central government agencies, local communities, and private sector organizations. Despite being the focal point at the local level, local government involvement in sustainable energy planning is limited. In the case of Ghana, sustainable energy planning remains centralized and is manifested in a low level of awareness of local actors on national energy plans. The implication for decision makers is that energy planning functions should be devolved to the local government. Such devolution is expected to ensure the integration of sustainable energies into local government plans for the well-coordinated implementation and effective monitoring of sustainable energy projects.