Mr Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank Group, says the Bank has provided technical assistance worth $1.5 million to Ghana towards removing barriers to investment in the renewable energy efficiency.
He said Ghana was showing the way towards universal access to energy because she currently had about 80 per cent energy access coverage, which is one of the highest in the Sub-region due to the utilisation of off-grid solutions.
He, therefore, urged other African countries to emulate the strides made by Ghana to achieve universal access to energy.
Mr Adesina made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the Fourth Ghana Renewable Energy Fair in Accra, on the theme: “Renewable Energy: Exploiting Energy Resources at the District Level”.
The three-day Fair provides the platform to promote renewable energy technologies and create linkages between the various stakeholders in the renewable energy space including researchers, entrepreneurs, industries and consumers.
The Fair, jointly organised by the Energy Commission and Ministry of Energy, involved conferences and exhibition of renewable technologies, which attracted captains of industry, energy experts and development partners.
It would also ensure collaboration between government, the private sector and civil society organisations to deliberate on pertinent issues on renewable energy and proffer solutions.
Mr Adesina said energy efficiency was one of the key solutions for climate change, adding that the Bank had identified some African countries, which it was supporting to establish energy regulatory frameworks to attract private investment into the sector.
He said for the African Continent to achieve universal access to energy, there was the need for bold action to be taken to achieve the target by 2030.
He said the Bank recently launched a $100 million Energy Inclusion Facility to cover financing of energy projects in some African countries to ensure energy efficiency.
Mr Adesina said the Bank was working closely with the World Bank and countries like Germany and Switzerland to structure the $230 million programme for energy efficiency for both private and public sector investments on the Continent.
He said in Africa about 600,000 women and children died prematurely annually due to bad cooking solutions, therefore, the Bank had committed to supporting 150,000 households to have access to clean cooking solutions.
Mr William Owuraku Aidoo, a Deputy Minister of Energy, said energy was the engine for economic growth; therefore, the Government was reshaping its renewable energy laws to address the challenges confronting the sub-sector.
This, he said, would ensure the country was abreast of the current global energy renewable industry and take full advantage to propel economic growth.
He said while the nation was witnessing economic growth, the issue of sustainability of renewable energy resources and environmental consciousness should be critical in the strategies and policies that underpinned the nation’s development.
The Deputy Minister lauded the World Bank, Swiss Development and Organisation and African Development Bank for their immense support to Ghana’s Energy Development Access Project towards the implementation of renewable energy initiatives nationwide.
He applauded the contribution of the governments of Denmark, Germany, China, Japan and the United States of America for supporting and funding wide range of renewable projects.
Ghana is a signatory to the COP Paris Agreement under which she committed herself to unconditionally reducing the rate of greenhouse emissions by 15 per cent within the business enclave by 2030.
To that end, Mr Aido said the nation had incorporated some mitigation actions in the energy sector objectives from medium to long term, including increasing the penetration of renewable energy by 10 per cent in the electricity generation mix.
It would also promote cleaner cooking solutions and rural household lanterns to replace kerosene as the main lightening fuel and double efforts of energy efficiency and conservation processes.
He said as the nation utilised the renewable energy resources, there was the need to ensure that the local capacity and industries were built not only at the national level but at the district levels to take advantage of the rapid growth in the renewable energy sub-sector worldwide.