By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, Oct. 10, GNA - Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, says Government has developed a comprehensive renewable energy policy to increase the country’s installed capacity, which is currently below one per cent.
He said the Government was implementing a number of policy instruments to accelerate the development of the renewable energy sector, including the piloting of competitive tendering process for procurement of renewable energy capacity, as well as procurement of inputs in the renewable projects.
“Ghana must be smart, innovative and proactive in the use of renewable energy solution to spur economic growth,” he said.
He said the country was on course in achieving the universal access to electricity target by 2020, adding that, the country’s electricity access as at June this year was 85.7 per cent.
Vice President Bawumia said this in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, a Deputy Minister of Energy, at the opening of the Third Ghana Renewable Energy Fair and Exhibition in Accra on Tuesday.
The three-day event is on the theme: “Renewable Energy: An Engine for Distributed Wealth Creation”, which brought together energy experts in the sector to discuss strategies to improve renewable energy usage in the country.
The summit serves as a platform for government to interface with the private sector and civil society organisations, to promote renewable energy solution and linkages between the academia, entrepreneurs and industries.
He said since Parliament enacted the Renewable Energy Act in 2011, the Energy Commission had granted about hundred provisional licenses and the Electricity of Ghana had signed a number of power purchase agreements, geared towards the provision of renewable energy solution in the country.
The Vice President said Government had identified challenges preventing the establishment of renewable plants and would, therefore, put measures in place to resolve them so that the nation would actualise the full potentials of the renewable energy solution.
He said Government was developing a comprehensive public-private strategy that would deploy solar energy in public institutions to increase renewable energy installed capacity in the country and ameliorate the high utility bills that were collapsing their finances.
He said the effective utilisation of renewable energy would play a key role in the Government’s objectives of achieving social transformation through wealth creation, sustainable tariffs as well as safeguarding the environment.
He said the use of renewable energy would also play a vital role in the Government’s flagship projects such as the “Öne District, One Factory” and “Planting for Food and Jobs”.
Under the Planting for Food and Jobs Policy, he said, the country could achieve low production cost through the promotion and mass deployment of solar and wind power water pumps to irrigate farms, which would guarantee all-year-round farming, increase incomes for farmers and all other stakeholders in the food production chain.
In food processing and post-harvest management, he said, using renewable energy solution would improve the socio-economic wellbeing of farmers.
He said the benefits of renewable energy was endless and, therefore, assured that Government would promote the right policies and synergies in key sectors, such as agriculture, trade, industry, transportation, education and research.
“The Ministry of Energy is ready to collaborate with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority, and others in the use of renewable energy solution in their irrigation schemes and areas removed from the national electricity grid,” he said.
Vice President Bawumia said the Government would process the organic waste into renewable energy sources, as a way of ridding the country of bad sanitation and would require the collaboration of the private sector to accomplish the objectives.
He said the Government would provide incentives to businesses or investors. that would venture into the production of renewable energy solutions to accelerate socio-economic development.