Energy transition a must for Africa – Bawumia
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, says a “just and equitable” energy transition is a must for African countries in the wake of the continent accounting for the lowest per capita energy consumption globally.
Energy transition is global energy sector’s shift from the use of fossil fuels (including oil, gas, and coal) to renewable energy (such as wind and solar) to help reduce carbon emissions that causes climate change.
Speaking at the 6th Ghana Energy Awards in Accra Friday night, Dr Bawumia said climate action “is a responsibility we all share” and called for the empowerment of people to choose renewable energy and energy efficient technologies instead of those fuelled by fossil fuels.
“It begins with smart systems for waste management. And with solid strategies to change the way we source and use energy,” he said, adding: “Energy Transition has come to stay and we cannot pretend to be unaffected by it”.
Ghana has made a determined effort to phase out fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy, as a party to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Currently, about 70 per cent of the country’s generation installed capacity of 5,321MW is from a thermal plant that uses natural gas as its primary fuel.
The Ministry of Energy said it had developed an Energy Transition Plan to guide the implementation of policies towards a gradual shift from fossil fuels.
Dr Bawumia said the Government would not abruptly abandon the exploitation of the country’s oil and gas resources as they were critical to the economy.
Instead, he said the Government intended to gradually wean Ghana off dependence on fossil fuel through the acceleration of the rollout of renewables.
“The passage of the Renewable Energy Master Plan 2019, and the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Financing (SUNREF) 2021 attest to our commitment in this direction,” he said.
The 6th Energy Awards celebrated individuals and institutions that have contributed immensely to the growth of the energy sector over the period.
Organised by the Energy Media Group, in partnership with GP Business Consulting, this year’s event was on the theme: “Global Decarbonisation: A Just and Equitable Energy Transition in Ghana”.
More than 30 personalities and institutions were honoured at the event.
Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, Chief Executive, Volta River Authority, was adjudged the Male Energy Personality of the Year, for the second time in a row, while Madam Harriette Amissah-Arthur, Executive Partner, Arthur Energy Advisors, was crowned the Female Energy Personality of the Year.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Energy, won the Exceptional Commitment to Africa’s Energy Transition Honorary Award.
Mr Henry Teinor, the Director of the Awards, said the Organisers would launch the maiden edition of the West Africa Power and Petroleum Awards (WAPPA) next year, with the main event in 2024.
“This scheme is to celebrate the achievements of Heads of States and Sector Ministers in energy development, and will create valuable partnerships with strategic bodies and stakeholders in West Africa,” he said.