Ghana poised to opening up renewable energy sector for investments-Pres

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the government is exploring the regional market as part of its efforts in opening up the renewable energy for investments.

Consequently, he said, the country was being positioned to become a major exporter of reliable and competitive electricity in Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

• Madam Cecilia Daapah (third from left) being assisted
by Prof. Ebenezer O. Owusu (fourth from right) and other
dignitaries to open the fair Photo: Victor A. Buxton

In a speech read on behalf at the opening of the 7th Ghana Renewable Energy Fair in Accra yesterday,he said, these efforts would help the country rake in more foreign exchange earnings, contribute to the regional economic inclusiveness strategy and strengthen energy security and peace in the sub-region.

Organised by the Energy Commission (EC), the fair is a platform for stakeholders to promote the benefits of renewable energy in order to identify opportunities and facilitate investment in the sector.

Under the theme: “Removing barrier to renewable energy development in Ghana,” the three-day event comprises a conference; an exhibition of innovation, and final competition of the Senior High School Renewable Energy Challenge.

In the speech read by Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources Cecilia Dapaah, President Akufo-Addo said the government was leaving no stone unturned in providing quality leadership in the country’s quest to develop a sustainable energy economy with very few challenges.

As co-chair of the Group of Eminent Advocates of the 2030 UN SGDs, he restated his commitment to the development of renewable and clean energy in the country and globally by spearheading the implementation of the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said although the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had hampered businesses and other efforts, innovation was needed to compete in the global market, and therefore urged participants to come up with tangible solutions that would help remove the barriers facing the development of renewable energy.

The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, said the country’s medium to long term goal was to increase the contribution of renewable energy from the current 120Mega Watts (MW) installed capacity representing 2.4 per cent of the generation mix to more than 1000MW thus, attain a minimum of 10 per cent contribution from renewable energy in the generation mix by 2030.

Listing  some efforts made since 2017, he said, the Volta River Authority added 17MW solar PV from their Kaleo and Lawra projects in the Upper West Region, while  the Bui Power Authority had completed the installation of 51MW solar PV in Bui in the Bono Region which include the first ever 1MW floating solar PV installation in West Africa.

Noting that these projects would be expanded, he said, other ongoing projects included the Pwualugu Multi-purpose power plant comprising a 60MW hydro power hybridized with a 50MW solar plant by the VRA.

“Even though the renewable energy sector is equally affected by the energy sector challenges, we have put in place policies, strategies and programmes to address them, remove barriers and restore investor confidence and growth,” he assured.

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull, commended Ghana for its renewable energy efforts and pledged to continue proving technical and financial support.

On his part, the Board Chairman of the Energy Commission, Prof. Ebenezer Owusu thanked its partners for their support in setting the stage towards achieving renewable energy gains.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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