Finance Minister Seth Terkper has announced the approval of a 230-million dollar scaling-up Renewable Energy Investment Plan (SREP-IP) by the Climate Investment Fund for Ghana.
It would enable the country to build its renewable sector as cost-effective alternative sources to conventional energy sources.
He said the SREP-IP is currently being considered by government for implementation and the Power Ministry would leverage additional financing to achieve flagship investments in the renewable energy sector under the SREP programme.
Earlier in the year, the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) unanimously endorsed Ghana’s ambitious investment plan to transform and promote its renewable energy sector that is scaled up around key projects like the provision of renewable energy mini-grids and stand-alone solar PV systems; solar PV-based net metering with storage; utility-scale solar PV/wind power generation; and a technical assistance project.
Ghana’s plan was initially slated to receive 40 million dollars in funding from the CIF’s programme for scaling-up renewable energy in low income countries.
The infusion of SREP funding, along with other financial and technical support from various development partners, would help the country scale up and leverage private and public financial resources to build the country’s renewables sector and carry out the innovative set of projects.
Speaking at the opening of the second Ghana Renewable Energy Fair in Accra, the Finance Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, said the systematic exploration and development of the country’s renewable energy resources would remain a major priority of government as that has the potential to reduce development cost and accelerate the process to provide cost-effective alternative energy sources to the costly conventional energy sources.
The three-day fair, which was hosted by the Energy Commission and the Ministry of Power was aimed at serving as a catalyst for the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the country as well as provide an excellent opportunity to consolidate the gains of the maiden edition held last year.
It had the theme, “Renewable energy and energy efficiency: accelerating energy access and security,” and was being attended by local firms in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector as well as researchers and other stakeholders.
The fair featured the exhibition of various renewable energy gadgets, including solar PV systems, biogas technology, waste-to-energy technologies, and biomass and bio-fuel technologies, among others.
While commending organisers of the fair, Mr Terkper said due to sound sector policy initiatives, the renewable energy sector had made modest gains in recent times.
He said the significant progress has been made towards the realisation in the development of wind and biomass power plant as negotiations are underway for the Ayetepa 150 megawatts wind project and African plantation sustainable development 60 megawatt biomass power project for consideration under the on-going Put Call Option Agreement arrangement.
“All these will contribute significantly to the generation mix and create job opportunities for Ghanaians,” he said.
Mr Terkper further announced that the Ministry of Power, in collaboration with the Energy Commission and the Finance Ministry, Ghana Grid Company, Northern Electricity Distribution Company and Electricity Corporation of Ghana with support from the German Development Cooperation, have successfully conducted the pilot 20 megawatts solar PV tender.
The rationale is to accelerate the increase of renewable energy generation capacity to achieve price reduction in electricity, he explained.
Dr Kwame Ampofo, Board Chairman of Energy Commission, Ghana, said the fair was indicative of the commission’s commitment to the promotion of the growth of renewable energy market in Ghana.
Dr Ampofo said the annual energy “fair therefore seeks to encourage all Ghanaians to buy into the idea of hooking up to renewable sources of energy, for a better, cleaner future”.
Dr Bernice Heloo, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation urged stakeholder institutions and individuals to embrace energy efficiency technologies “in our everyday discourse to catapult the attainment of the government’s target of 10 per cent of renewable energy in the national energy mix by 2020.