Government explores other sources of energy
Ghana has moved from solely relying on hydro- power to thermal and is now exploring other sources of energy including solar, wind and waste-to-power, Deputy Power Minister John Jinapor has said.
“Ghana is committed to diversify its energy mix in partnership with the private sector to ensure stable and affordable energy supply for its citizens. We have a company that has installed 20MW of solar power and is injecting into the grid and they have commenced the process to expand it to 40MW,” he said.
Speaking at a three-day Ghana International Power, Electrical and Electronics Expo (POWERELEC), Mr. Jinapor said government has launched a bid to produce another 20MW of solar power.
Mr. Jinapor explained that the country is also working in partnership with other countries in the sub-region through the West African Power Pool to integrate power systems in the sub-region to address challenges in the power sector.
“Together as a sub-region, we can grow if we are inter-dependent, if we share resources and that is why we formed the West African Power Pool and today we have gas flowing from Nigeria through Benin, Togo to Ghana, with plans to extend it to Cote d’Ivoire,” he stated.
He urged investors attending the POWERELEC Expo to adopt a broader approach on the sub-regional level rather than a country-specific level and also use simple, cost-effective power interventions that would make a difference in the lives of citizens, especially in the rural areas.
Dr. Kwame Ampofo, Chairman of the Energy Commission of Ghana, said there has been and would be a number of exhibitions and conferences on the energy sector that shows Ghana readiness for the growth, expansion and diversification of its energy sector.
He said the POWERELEC Expo is unique and covers all major aspects of electricity production and utilisation and seeks to extend current and futuristic global trends of clean technologies including solar and wind technologies to Ghana.
He said the Energy Commission is implementing a comprehensive rooftop photovoltaic programme in the country aimed at achieving a 200MW peak load relief on the national electricity grid through solar PV electrification.
“Interest in other renewable energy portfolios are rising rapidly with about 12 licenses issued to companies for wind power generation, five for small hydro power generation and 10 for waste-to-power projects,” he stated.
Dr Ampofo said he is confident the POWERELEC Expo would jumpstart a number of business initiatives and urged prospective investors in Ghana’s power sector to take advantage of the power sector policy on local content to establish fruitful, mutually beneficial partnerships with Ghanaian businesses.
Mr Jean Joshua, Chief Executive Officer of Verifair, one of the three organisers of the POWERELEC Expo said Africa has an urgent need to raise the level of investment in its power sector, with the region’s requirements set for 250 GW of capacity between now and 2030, making it the Expo appropriate at this time.
The three-day Expo and conference would show official country pavilions from Ghana, India, Turkey, Egypt and China as well as about 100 exhibitors from nine countries including China, Korea, Czech Republic, UAE.
Turkey is the partner country for the show, while India is the Associate Country for POWERELEC Ghana 2016, which would also showcase the potential of Ghana’s power sector and bring together international suppliers and energy professionals from across the world to Ghana, especially from African Continent.
He noted that alternate energy solutions would be a major focus at the three days show.