President John Dramani Mahama says his administration has increased access to electricity by a paltry 4.5 percent in a country with a population of over 26 million.
The President, who disclosed this in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday, said “last year, 76 percent of Ghanaians had access to electricity, now 80.5 percent have access to electricity. This compares significantly with the 58 percent access to power in 2008.”
Exploits in solar energy
He said, “Already several small and medium enterprises have been provided with rooftop solar plants following my announcement of a target of 200,000 rooftop solar projects for small businesses and residential purposes. PURC and other agencies will intensify implementation to achieve the 200,000.”
He also touched on the African Plantation for Sustainable Development, which was also poised to inject 60 megawatts of biomass energy into the country’s grid following the signing of a PPA with ECG.
Government, he said, was also initiating a programme this year to substitute incandescent and CFL bulbs with LED bulbs.
“A year ago, I stood before this House and promised to fix the power sector deficit. It has been a year of hard work that has made us achieve the fastest mobilization of emergency power in the history of Ghana.
“About 800 megawatts of power has been added to our generation within the shortest period of time.
“Fast-tracking the finalization and commissioning of KTPP added 220 megawatts. Fast-tracking the commissioning of TICOs combined cycling added 110 mw. Mobilising Karpower added another 220 megawatts. As I speak, Ameri is adding 200 megawatts and 50 megawatts extra power to our transmission grid.”
In addition, he said 180 megawatts of Asogli Phase II would also be available as soon as the country could get extra gas for it.
More work ahead
President Mahama however noted that much work still needed to be done to give citizens the comfort of sustainable generation going forward.
“Much of our power is based on thermal generation now. Akosombo is producing currently at about 380 megawatts. That is just about 40 percent of its capacity. Akosombo is a 1,020 megawatt plant. All our hydro sources are strained because of the low level of the Volta Lake caused by a changing climate.
“Additional generation of about 3,500 megawatts can be achieved by the year 2020.”
PPP for ECG
He said the Ministries of Finance and Power were finalizing processes for the implementation of the private sector participation programme for the ECG.
“ECG is on course to increase pre-payments meter coverage by which time a total of 4300 meters should be installed. Cabinet has approved the Millennium Challenge Compact and its $498 million grant which will provide a major boost in addressing energy efficiency problems, as well as improving access to energy in this country.”
By Samuel Boadi