Experts debate policy gaps in scaling up clean energy

Business News of Friday, 4 August 2017

Source: thebftonline.com

2017-08-04

The workshop aimed at addressing policy and regulatory challenges of clean technologies in Ghana

The climate and clean energy sector in the country has not grown at the rate expected to enable the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals- numbers 7 and 8, on access to modern energy and decent work and economic growth respectively.

The lack of clear policy and regulatory instruments is one of the main barriers for the large-scale deployment of this solution.

For instance, although there is a policy in place which suggests that 10 percent of the country’s energy mix must consist of renewable energy by 2020, virtually two years to the target; and penetration currently is gauged at a little over one percent!

As underlined in the business plan of the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC), the policy barriers faced by the climate and clean technology sector include limited governmental support, inadequate budgetary allocation to implement policies, absence of subsidies and high import taxes on inputs for climate and clean technology products.

In this regard, the GCIC project seeks to provide financing, mentoring, training and business advisory services to support emerging entrepreneurs and new ventures involved in developing locally appropriate solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Ghana.

The project is a global partnership of World Bank and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) being implemented by Ashesi University College (Ghana), Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), Ernst & Young, and the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) has the responsibility of implementing the policy and regulatory component of the GCIC.

The component aims at addressing the policy and regulatory challenges of clean technologies sector in Ghana.

Thus, a consultative workshop on the theme: “Creating an Enabling Environment for Scaling up Climate and Clean Technologies in Ghana”, targeting policymakers in the country with the responsibility for the implementation of national development strategies, government officials from key ministries, researchers and representatives of departments and agencies in the sector, was held in Accra this week.

The overall objective of the workshop was to provoke debate among experts and stakeholders in policy development and practice on what can be done to address policy barriers and gaps in the climate and clean technology sector in the country.

Delivering the keynote address, Fredua Agyeman, Director of Environment, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), said the Ministry has been involved with the GCIC project right from the initial stages and that the Ministry applauds the focus areas of the project on energy efficiency, solar energy, water management and purification, domestic waste management, and climate smart agriculture.

He further stated that they are aligned to a number of the Ministry’s policies namely: the National Environment Policy of 2013, the National Climate Change Policy 2013, the National Climate Change Master Plan 2015, the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2010 and Low Carbon development strategy 2015.

Agyeman added that the National Climate Change Policy and STI Policy recognize the private sector as a key partner for industrial development. Additionally, in the area of energy efficiency, both the National Climate change Policy master plan and the STI policy with the Low Carbon Development strategy encourages research and development programmes relating to energy sources such as solar energy, biogas, wind and other renewable energy sources in order to supplement the traditional ene4rgy sources in the country.

Director of UNU-INRA, Elias T. Ayuk in welcoming the participants noted that the workshop is in tandem with one of the major objectives of UNU-INRA, that is, bringing together academic and policy researchers working on climate policy to improve integration of research and exchange, while informing future policy decisions.

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