Ghana is on course to achieving universal access to electricity with 86.3 percent of the population connected to the national grid in 2021, a report on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has said.
Goal 7 of the 17 interlinked global goals, which is focused on affordable and clean energy, enjoins UN member countries to “by 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.
According to the Voluntary National Review report on Ghana’s implementation of the goals, about 95.2 percent of urban population used electricity as the main source of lighting in 2021, an increase from 84 percent and 74.6 percent in 2010 and 2000 respectively.
In rural areas, it said, the proportion using electricity has more than quadrupled from 16.1 percent in 2000 to 72.6 percent in 2021.
Greater Accra Region (96.1 per cent) continues to have the highest electricity coverage, while Upper East Region (57.0 per cent) has the least.
“In general, the northern parts of the country have much lower access to electricity. This situation arises from the fact that most northern communities have low population densities and are far from major medium voltage lines,” the report said.
On efforts the government had been making over the years, it said, between 2018 and 2020 the Rural Electrification Project (REP) connected 1,111 new communities to the national grid.
Additionally, the report said, under the Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP), 843 communities were connected to the national grid between 2020 and 2021.
The proportion of the households using Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as their primary cooking fuel increased from 18.2 percent in 2010 to 36.9 percent in 2021, with rural areas having a far lower percentage (14.8 per cent) than urban areas (51.3 per cent).
The breakdown by region shows that most people use LPG in the Greater Accra Region (68.2 per cent) while North East Region (4.2 per cent) has the least people using LPG.
The report also noted that the proportion of households using electricity as the main source of cooking declined marginally from 0.5 percent in 2010 to 0.4 per cent in 2021.
“Though the use of wood and charcoal has declined by 31 percentage points over the past two decades, it remains the main cooking fuel for more than half (54.3 per cent) of households,” he said.
To increase the use of LPG, he said, the government had established the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) to produce gas cylinders locally and make them affordable to the public.
It said the government also launched the Rural LPG Promotion (RLP) programme as part of efforts to minimise fuel wood usage (charcoal and firewood).
BY JONATHAN DONKOR