According to him, it has become clear that current patterns and types of energy used are environmentally unsustainable as over-reliance of fossil fuels in particular, threatens to alter the earth’s climate to an extent that it could have grave effects on posterity on both natural and vital human systems.
The Director-General said there is also the issue of access and reliability basic energy service, which turns to widen the gap between the rich and poor, citing Ghana as an example.
Prof Nyarko was addressing a durbar to climax the week-long celebration of the 2014 African Scientific Renaissance Day which was hosted by Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI).
The celebrations on the theme: “Ensuring Sustainable Energy for Accelerated Economic Growth” was to remind policy makers of the critical role sustainable energy plays in the development of any nation.
Prof Nyarko said: “In a nation such as ours, where a significant proportion of the population still lack access and reliable basic energy services, the worry about long term energy and for that matter environmental sustainability is often overshadowed by immediate concerns about energy access and affordability.”
He said it is essential that policy makers expand access to energy while simultaneously participating in a global transition to clean, low-carbon energy systems.
Ghana is relatively endowed with a variety of energy resources including hydropower, hydrocarbons, biomass, bio-fuels, solar and wind energy sources and also has the capacity to produce nuclear power.
He said the vision of the energy sector should therefore be geared towards an “Energy Economy”, which is capable of securing a reliable supply of high quality energy services for all sectors of the economy and also become a major exporter of oil and electricity.
Mr Akwesi Opong-Fosu, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation said the current energy challenges are a wake-up call on Ghanaian Scientists to bring to bear their expertise on the efficient production, distribution and utilisation of energy.
He said the variety of energy assets in Ghana including nuclear energy provides the potential for scientists to develop the appropriate and relevant technologies for their efficient extraction, distribution and utilisation.
He said the Ministry has put in place an environmental policy on energy to ensure that energy is produced, distributed and used in an environmentally sound manner.
He said the celebration is a reminder of the central place of science in current and future development effort.
The pace of economic development and industrialisation in Africa imposes even more responsibility on African scientists and leadership across board to deepen their effort in science and technology discovery and diffusion in support of domestic enterprise development and production.
Ghana’s current status as a lower middle-income economy and its pace of graduation into an upper middle-income economy and beyond depends essentially on science, technology and innovation.
He said government has been expanding the scope of energy generation by diversifying energy assets and also encouraging private sector participation as part of an on-going effort to facilitate and ensure secured and reliable energy access on sustainable basis.
He called for the intensification of efforts to resolve the current energy challenge by laying long-term foundation for reliable energy.