Business News of Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Source: Graphic Online
The Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, has charged Ghanaians to adopt the use of solar technology to meet part of their domestic power demand.
“Those who use solar systems, especially in the house can confirm that it reduces cost significantly and even when the light is off they have power to operate,” he said.
Mr John Jinapor, who said this at the launch of the first Ghana renewable energy fair 2015, indicated that the government has exempted the importation of solar systems from payment of custom duties at the port.
“Solar system importation does not attract custom duties under the current dispensation” he said.
The fair would provide the platform for the government, the private sector, industries, civil society, and the general public in order to acquaint themselves with some of the latest renewable energy technology available and share ideas with stakeholders worldwide.
It is also expected to provide the platform to deliberate on issues concerning the effectiveness on rapid development, management, sustainability and the utilisation of renewable energy in Ghana.
The launch, which was on the theme: “Renewable Energy Technologies for Sustainable Development”, was held on February 12, 2015, in Accra.
Mr John Jinapor noted that the first Ghana renewable energy fair which was scheduled for November 3-5, 2015, would consist of a conference and exhibition in Accra.
He said the government acknowledged the halt in the energy sector, and measures were being implemented to curtail the situation.
He indicated that power barges would soon be imported into the country to support the sector, as part of the government’s emergency control measures.
The Chairman of the Energy Commission, Dr Kwame Ampofo, who was also present at the fair, said his outfit had commenced moves to get a law which would make it compulsory for home owners to inculcate the use of solar PV into new buildings following the country’s power crisis.
According to him, renewable energy was a new form of energy that was still in the developmental stage in Ghana. But there were abundant renewable energy resources such as solar energy with rates of development that were a bit sluggish.
However, the ministry of Energy and Petroleum and the Energy Commission has installed solar PV systems in off-grid communities in the Northern, Volta and Eastern regions of Ghana to reduce the load on the national grid.
“Wind energy resource assessment has also been carried out to ascertain the wind speeds in the country. Biogas has also been extensively developed for power generation, cooking and as organic manure,” he said.
He commended the German Government and all partners for supporting Ghana, especially at the energy sector.
However, the frustrations of some Ghanaians keep growing by the day at the inability of elected officials to exhibit leadership in the handling of the energy crisis that currently engulfs the entire country.
According to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the reason for the current intensive load shedding was due to the higher demand for electricity which had increased by about 2000 per cent, over the years.