President Mahama supports launch of regional power market

Mahama-state-of-the-nationa-addressPresident, John Dramani Mahama has assured the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) of Ghana’s support for the launch and effective take-off of the regional power market.

The Regional Power market will take-off later in the year.

President Mahama made the commitment while receiving a five-member ERERA delegation led by the institution’s Acting Chairperson, Mrs Ifey Ikeonu and Regulatory Council Member, Mr Alagi Gaye, at the Flag Staff House in Accra.

President Mahama said Ghana was working towards meeting its dual target of energy self-sufficiency as well as being a net exporter of electricity in the region.

He commended the initiatives of ERERA towards the development of the regional electricity market.

He also spoke of the sundry activities at improving energy access to all areas of the country, especially some rural communities, despite the many challenges, including those caused by climate change.

In this regard, President Mahama spoke of the progress being made by Ghana, especially with the introduction of renewable energy such as solar power, the price of which he described as becoming “more competitive”.

“I believe you have a role to play when it comes to renewable energy”, President Mahama told the ERERA delegation.

He acknowledged Ghana’s comparative advantage in terms of power supply to other ECOWAS member states, and reiterated the country’s readiness to support the regional electricity market.

Earlier, Mrs Ifey Ikeonu briefed President Mahama on ERERA’s core mandate and objectives, as well as build-up activities towards the launch of the regional electricity market scheduled for the last quarter of 2016.

She said ERERA has already approved such instruments as the Regional Electricity Market Rules that would guide market participants, and is now finalizing work on the dispute resolution rules and contract templates- two other critical instruments which are prerequisites for the launch of the market.

Mrs Ikeonu also spoke of the approval of a tariff methodology which will determine the cost of trans-border wheeling of electricity, as well as the West African Power Pool (WAPP) Operations Manual.

She also expatiated on the relationship between ERERA and WAPP, the two regional energy institutions tasked with ensuring a successful ECOWAS electricity market.

Mrs Ikeonu then briefed President Mahama on the implementation of the 2013 ECOWAS Directive on the Organization of the Regional Electricity Market, adding that Ghana has fully met all the requirements of the Directive.

Among others, the Directive provides for the gradual establishment of the ECOWAS regional power market through the harmonization of national electricity markets.

It also provides for a regional market design and market phases, open access to the regional transmission network and access by eligible customers.

ERERA’s Acting Chairperson stated that other member states can benefit from Ghana’s experience in the power sector for the benefit of the ECOWAS Community.

She appealed to President Mahama to assist in ensuring that member states are fully aware of Ghana’s initiative in the power sector, especially in regards to the ECOWAS Directive, noting that “non-compliance with the Directive will hinder the operations of the electricity market”.

Source: GNA

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