The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Sunyani, through the Regional Center for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (RCEES) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bochum University of Applied Sciences in Germany to commence a project on Mobility Sustainably thought through the life cycle (MoNaL). The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako led the UENR team whiles Prof. Dr. Ing. Semih Severengiz represented the Bochum University to sign the MoU at a kick-off workshop on the project held at the Eusbett Hotel, Sunyani, on the 19th April 2021.

Prof. Dr. Ing. Semih Severengiz showing via zoom his signed portion

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako welcoming the participants noted that there is an expedient growth in population and environmental pollution in the country. He lamented that the economic development of the country demands an increase in mobility offers which is mainly for cars and motorbikes. He however added that these vehicles simultaneously cause a high level of environmental pollution. According to the Vice-Chancellor, there are opportunities for more environmentally friendly alternatives through e-mobility and to improve the environmental impact, the energy required for the supply must be obtained from a renewable source. He noted that for recycling to take place, institutions need to partner and develop systems to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) seven (7) which is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Prof. Asare-Bediako further mentioned that the signing of the MoU on the MoNaL project between the two Universities would go a long way to help achieve the goals of sustainable energy in Ghana.

Prof. Dr. Ing. Semih Severengiz speaking via zoom

Prof. Dr. Ing. Semih Severengiz at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science delivering his address via zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic indicated that the goal of the MoNaL project is to promote academic activities as well as create sustainable jobs through initiating E-Bike means of transportation in the country. Prof. Severengiz mentioned that though their University is not situated in the capital city of Germany the Sustainable Technologies Laboratory that focuses on mobility decentralized energy systems and digitization is well equipped with the necessary resources needed for the project. He commended UENR and faculty partners for the efforts made to be part of the project.

The Director of RCEES, Dr. Eric Ofosu Antwi

The Director of RCEES, Dr. Eric Ofosu Antwi in a short speech gave an overview of the activities of the centre. He said RCEES has partners across Africa and beyond hence being a part of the MoNaL project would help impact not only Ghana but other countries on sustainable energy as well as global change. Dr. Ofosu Antwi mentioned that the Centre would present the findings and recommendations on the project to the Ministry of Energy for onward action to be taken on it for the benefit of the nation.

The Bono Regional Minister, Madam Justina Owusu Banahene

The Bono Regional Minister, Madam Justina Owusu Banahene delivering her speech on sustainable development extolled UENR on its achievement in the area of energy and natural resources in the region. She believed that UENR has pride itself well leading to their involvement in the MoNaL project. The Regional Minister explained that the government of Ghana supports activities that would boost the energy sector adding that the government is already embarking on a solar installation project in the region and beyond. She again applauded UENR for putting to use its expertise in energy by installing solar panels along most of its streets on campus. She urged the University to extend the solar energy panels to other parts of the University community and the Sunyani Regional Coordinating Council. Madam Justina assured the government’s support for the project and was optimistic that the project would contribute largely to the country’s energy sector.

Mr. Michele Velenderic of Green Power Brains, Germany

A link person between UENR and Bochum University, Mr. Michele Velenderic of Green Power Brains presenting on the topic “Decentralized Energy Systems”, said the Don Bosco Technical Institutes in Sunyani and Accra would be engaged in the technical aspect of the project.

The MoNaL project seeks to create sustainable mobility offers for countries in the sub-Saharan region. The effect of the offer is holistic covering the entire life cycle – from the production and the design of the vehicles, through the energy supply to the recycling of the vehicles and the energy supply infrastructure – improved and checked by life cycle analyses. The project would involve technical expertise as part of a pilot implementation in Ghana at the location of the local partner, Don Bosco. A rental system for e-mopeds and cargo bikes is being technically and economically tested and adapted taking into account local conditions and user requirements. The stakeholder map for the project involves the public and private sector in the country to ensure sustainability.

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