The Government is committed to achieving an electricity generation mix that ensures diversity and security of energy supply in the country, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said on Thursday.
For this reason, we will continue to promote the deployment of renewable energy in line with our policy target of 10 percent renewables in the energy mix from the current one per cent, he assured.
Delivering his State of Nation Address to Parliament in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana’s gas production tripled during the year, from 100 to 300 million cubic feet per day and that the Ministry of Energy was undertaking steps to remove the transmission bottlenecks, to ensure that Ghanaian gas can reach power plants located in the eastern part of the country.
“I am confident that, by August this year, the situation would have been fully remedied to ensure Ghana uses locally produced gas for the bulk of its thermal power generation, saving substantial amounts of foreign exchange on imported fuels”.
He said affordable and reliable energy was absolutely critical to realising the country’s vision of economic transformation.
He explained that another justification for renewable energy was that, in spite of Ghana’s excess electricity generation capacity, the country could still not achieve it universal access target because there were many Ghanaian communities, especially those on islands and lake sides that could not be reached through the national grid.
For example, there are currently 200 island and 2,000 lake side communities that require mini-grids from renewable sources to meet their energy needs, he said.
The President said to reduce government’s expenditure on utilities, and also promote the use of solar power for government and public buildings, the Ministry of Energy initiated the Solar Rooftop Programme, of which it was leading by example with the installation of a 65-kilowatt solar rooftop system at its premises.
The Jubilee House would also be powered, as from August this year, by solar energy, as an example to other public institutions.
“In fact, government’s target is to install up to 200 megawatts of distributed solar power by 2030 in both residential and non-residential facilities in order to reduce Government’s liabilities to ECG (PDS Ghana Ltd).
According to the President, renewable energy had also become a necessary addition to the country’s energy sector because it has increasingly become cheaper, “and is key to the implementation of our international obligations under Sustainable Development Goal 7, on access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy, as well as Sustainable Development Goal 13, on urgent action to combat climate change”.
On the fight against corruption in the oil industry, and to aid transparency, the President announced the establishment of a National Register of Contracts on which all the Petroleum Agreements signed by the Government have been published.
This provides a platform for citizens to scrutinize the oil contracts signed by government, and accords with the international call for contract transparency, he said.
“We have also passed the General Petroleum Regulations, which provide for the disclosure of beneficial ownership information of companies operating in Ghana’s oil and gas industry.
This will ensure that people do not hide in the shadows to appropriate oil blocks to themselves, at the expense of the citizens of Ghana.
He said the interest of major oil companies in Ghana had become dramatic and that as at present, oil companies such as the American giant, ExxonMobil, and the Norwegian conglomerate, Aker, have signed petroleum exploration agreements with Ghana.
“Through the launch of the “Ghana Oil and Gas Licencing Rounds 2018”, the bidding process for the allocation of new petroleum rights to prospective investors, the first such exercise in our history, other global players such as BP, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, and Total have expressed interest in coming to Ghana.