Ghana’s energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables would be done strategically and at the country’s own pace, a Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, has said.
He said instead of abandoning the fossil fuel resources and rushing the changeover, the government was putting measures in place to harness the resources for development as the country transitioned to cleaner renewable energy sources.
Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, disclosed this in an interview with the Ghanaian Times after the launch of the 2019 Ghana Extractive Industries (GHEITI) Report last Thursday.
“The energy transition is an important issue for us that is why the energy minister set up this committee to develop Ghana’s transition and policy strategies so that we can transition at our own pace.
“Because it is like we are being rushed into it. Most of the developed countries that have benefited from fossil foils, have developed their countries and their economy based on the resources. We have just discovered these resources and we are asked to transition,” Mr Adam said.
According to him, it took the world about 75 years to move from coal to oil and gas yet there was a push in the world to take about 30 years to move from oil and gas to cleaner renewable energy.
“Even with the 75 years we used to transition from coal to oil and gas most countries have not given up coal, as source of their primary energy. The UK government has just approved a coal power project,” he said.
Mr Adam said Ghana could not abandon oil and gas because natural gas had just been recognised by the European Union as transitional fuel given that it was the cleanest in the fossil chain so it could be used for power production.
“Again for fuel for transportation and into petrol chemicals so we can be able to produce fertiliser and other chemicals in the country. So there are so many ways we can develop the country using these resources.
“As much as we want to transition to scaling up renewable energy we want to introduce nuclear energy as part of our primary energy sources and we want to continue producing oil and gas, except that we would increase our mitigation programmes, tree planting or afforestation, carbon capture and storage programmes, we want to also adhere to the zero flaring policy for gas,” he said.
According to the Deputy Minister Africa emitted just about 3.6 per cent global emissions, while the western world emitted up to 76 per cent of the global emissions.
“Ghana emits just about 0.012 per cent of the emission, we want to be part of the whole world so that we can improve on the carbon capture techniques, we reduce our emissions globally but we should be spared some time to transform our economy with these resources before we can reach the goal of zero 2050 or 2070,” he said.
Mr Adam said the government had solicited views from the citizenry and would incorporate them into developing the national energy transition plan which would stand the test of time.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE