Government has announced that it is exploring opportunities and positioning Ghana to becoming a major exporter of reliable and competitive electricity in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.
Speaking on behalf of President Akufo-Addo at the 7th Ghana Renewable Energy Fair 2021 in Accra, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, said “this will not only benefit Ghana in terms of foreign exchange earnings, but will also contribute to the regional economic inclusiveness strategy, strengthening energy security and peace in the sub-region.”
The event, which was organised by the Energy Commission under the theme “Removing Barriers to Renewable Energy Development in Ghana”, saw participants drawn from academia, private sector players in the energy and power sector, as well as Ghana’s development partners.
According to some sector watchers, the government’s move to increase power exports to the sub-region will help make good use of the excess power in the country, which is estimated to cost over US$500m annually.
Ms. Abena Dapaah lauded the Energy Commission for instituting the Senior High School Renewable Energy Challenge and charged them to ensure that the winning project is developed into a marketable project.
Minister of Energy Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh disclosed that government is exploring critical growth sectors of the economy to spur demand for electrical power as a measure to address the excess generation capacity problem.
“The promotion of the Drive Electric Initiative (DEI) will create productive demand in our electricity sector and increase demand for both grid and off-grid renewable energy power systems in the country,” he said, adding that the Ministry will collaborate with the Ministries of Finance and Transport to ensure that the needed fiscal incentives are provided for the DEI, especially a scheme to grant tax waivers to electric vehicles.
He also indicated that the amended Renewable Energy Act (Act 1045) encourages small-scale self-generation and net-metering renewable energy projects to help streamline the deployment of decentralised and distributed renewable energy generation.
According to him, the amended act also “establishes a competitive procurement obligation as well as mandates fossil fuel-based wholesale electricity suppliers and producers and other companies that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions to complement the global effort of climate change mitigation by investing in non-utility scale renewable energy technologies, particularly for off-grid electrification.”
Deputy Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ebenezer Tagoe, said VRA is set to roll out a number of renewable energy projects within the next five years, including 60MW Hydro and 50MW Solar PV Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam Project, 60MW Floating Solar PV on the Kpong Head Pond, and 75MW Wind Power Project Phase-1”.
He added that VRA has successfully undergone a financial recovery programme and has transitioned into a sustainability plan which has “renewable energy and conversion of our simple cycle thermal plants to combined cycle as key elements for driving down our cost and carbon footprint.”