Interview by Hannah Mottram with William Mawuko, ISEES

What does your organisation do?

The Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Solutions (ISEES) is a solution based non-profit institution committed to identifying, promoting and deploying innovative solutions in renewable energy and energy efficiency, climate change, environmental conservation, natural resources, water, sanitation and hygiene, aimed at improving the livelihoods and environment of households and small enterprises in Ghana and Africa.

How did you get to your role?

My role is to promote partnerships for enhancing access to renewable energy solutions in Ghana. I also support relationships with policy actors by enhancing evidence based advocacy and getting research outcomes to policy. I also serve on the Board to provide strategic direction to the institution.

As a former Board Member and National Coordinator for the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Fuels, (GHACCO), I was instrumental in the establishment of ISEES as a research, advocacy and technology development institution mainly committed to promoting the bioenergy sector in Ghana and enhance access to improved technology for rural and peri-urban households, women agro-processors and small enterprises that require access to clean cooking technologies and sustainable fuel solutions.

I am on the Board and work to coordinate partnerships.

How much space if there for civil society to advocate in Ghana?

There is about 90% space for civil society advocacy in Ghana. For renewable energy, government is responsive to listen to CSOs when invited for workshops and advocacy meetings. The challenge has been that, CSOs need to do much work before advocacy, based on extensive research and analysis to be able to adequately advoacate and make their advocacy relevant to government.

What are the successes and challenges of energy access policy in Ghana?

Government has quite some good policies for energy access in Ghana, however, implementation is slow and not trickling down to the grassroots. There seems to be still gaps in the policy and some policies are slow to be passed. Till now, Ghana’s Bioenergy Policy is still in the draft stage and requires civil society advocacy to get it through its final stage. Grassroots still do not have access to energy, still over 90% of rural households depend on biomass and inefficient stoves for cooking. Though electricity penetration is over 80%, still

How do you work with other civil society organizations on energy access advocacy?

ISEES is part of a number of coalitions and associations that promotes energy access. Whiles being a core part of the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Fuels, GHACCO, promoting and influencing the clean cooking and fuels sector, ISEES also is part of the Ghana Climate Change Networks, Ghana Youth Environmental Movements, Renewable Energy Association of Ghana, Sustainable Energy Network Ghana and the NAMA Platform. ISEES is also part of the Ghana Coalition of Civil Societies advocating against coal.

ISEES conducts research to inform policy, conducts baseline surveys, organizes stakeholder consultations to engage CSOs and provide a collective voice for policy advocacy

ISEES also has a technology deployment unit that is highly involved in looking at solutions to develop sustainable market for increasing energy access to low income households and working through inclusive business models and innovative end-user financing models to help women groups and trade associations to promote access to renewable energy solutions (Clean cookstoves, sustainable fuels and solar pv solutions)

What does being in ACCESS mean to you and your organization?

Being in access provides us opportunity to learn from others and share experiences in the energy access network, profile us among strong advocacy institutions, builds capacity for effective advocacy.