The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has launched an energy service centre to provide advisory services on renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to industries in the country.
The service centre would operate under the Business Development Services Division of AGI with technical and financial support from the German Development Cooperation.
Speaking at the launch in Accra last Thursday, Charles Darku, Vice President of AGI, explained that the energy crisis which grappled the country few years ago impacted negatively on economic development and resulted in the collapse of many Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Although the use of renewable energy and energy efficient solutions for electricity and heat supply was an economical option, he stated that, the market for such investments in Ghana was at the early stages of development.
This, he said, has further been compounded by lack of adequate financing, insufficient regulations and inadequate capacity which hindered the private sector’s adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions.
The service centre would serve as an independent broker to spearhead the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions, he added.
Among other things, Mr Darku said, the centre would provide second opinions and play an honest broker function with regard to renewable energy and energy efficiency proposals and project development and assist electricity consumers to develop and implement renewable energy investment plans by providing technical, implementation and transactional advice.
It is also expected to develop and maintain a continually updated database for renewable energy and efficient energy solution providers, reference projects, funding programmes and policy instruments and regulation, he stated.
German Ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff said, Germany has committed more than €170 million for the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions in Ghana.
The support, which falls under the G20 Compact with Africa and the bilateral reform partnership between the two countries, would enhance technical education and vocational training in the sector, he added.
In addition, he said GIZ implemented the market entry for renewable energy and energy efficiency project to promote market development for renewable energy solutions, investment support for large electricity consumers, business strategies for electricity suppliers and demand-oriented vocational qualification for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The Ambassador reiterated Germany’s commitment to use its experience and expertise in renewable energy to support government’s drive to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in the country to make industries competitive and efficient.
Deputy Minister of Energy, Joseph Cudjoe, commended the AGI for taking the initiative to make Ghana’s private sector competitive through the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions to cut cost of production and maximise profits.
He said development of renewable energy was in line with the Paris Agreement which urges countries to scale up penetration of renewable energy and double efforts on energy efficiency.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS