• Denis Gyegyir, Africa Programme Officer, addressng participants
• Denis Gyegyir, Africa Programme Officer, addressng participants

Seize energy transition opportunities to ensure sustainability — Expert

An energy expert is pushing African countries to leverage opportunities within their various energy sectors to help achieve sustainability.

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The call comes at a time when the energy sector is going through transition with more countries, particularly those in the western world gradually but consistently shifting away from the use of fossil fuels to the generation of energy using environmentally friendly methods such as solar and wind technology.

Many big financial institutions are also supporting the course by funding more renewable energy projects as against the conventional ones.

Disabusing the myth that energy transition was being imposed on Africa by the western world, the expert who is the Africa Programme Officer for Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), Denis Gyegir, explained that the world was evolving such that technology and new energy systems were being developed.

“So, this whole transition is not about a western power or western countries trying to push us to leave our resources underground; resources evolve and they become either useful or not useful depending on technology and other factors.

If you choose not to evolve to develop technology, and new energy sources, but rather depend on what you have when others are moving away from it, you will be left behind,” he said.

Mr Gyegir said this last Friday at the closing of a two-day training workshop to build the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media on Ghana’s Energy Transition Framework at Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

He said “this is about seizing opportunities from the world, from the global arena, opportunities that are being churned out through renewable energy, we need to take advantage of them.”

He said, however, what we needed to do was to minimise the risk of those technological developments and be mindful of the risks as well.

But we should not have in mind that somebody is pushing an agenda,” he added.

Workshop

Organised by NRGI, the training was to create awareness of the existence of Ghana’s Energy Transition Framework and enhance the capacity of CSOs and the media to understand, interrogate and use the contents of the framework in their work.

In his presentation, the Deputy Director for Nuclear and Alternative Energy at the Ministry of Energy, Dr Robert Sogbadji, said Ghana was implementing its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the agreements of the Conference of Parties (CoP) 26 to contribute its quota to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

As a result, he said the country has developed a National Energy Transition Framework, which is aimed at decarbonising the energy sector.

The long-term net-zero framework (2022-2070), he said, was expected to complement existing efforts with new measures, such as increased renewable energy penetration, conversion of thermal plants to natural gas and the integration of nuclear power into the energy mix.

Economic opportunities

Dr Sogbadji said the total cost of the transition was estimated at US$561.8 billion.

He said the implementation of the energy transition framework would impact on the economic, social and the environmental indicators of the country.

“Projected net cashflows for the oil and gas sectors are estimated at US$35 billion and US$1.3 billion respectively.

Electricity sales is expected to increase during the transition with sales revenue rising to about US$140 billion by 2070, representing 16 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.

He added that the energy transition programme would entail a shift from energy generation technologies, fuel- use, end-use equipment and devices among others, with its attendant implications on jobs.

The transition in the electricity sector is projected to yield a total of 1,367,894 jobs translating to 4,344,210.07 job-years.

It is estimated that 52 per cent of the jobs created will be in the construction and installation sectors.

It is projected that a total of 911,929 indirect and induced jobs or approximately 2.9 million job-years, 455,965 direct jobs or approximately 1.45 million job-years will be created.

Towards the year 2070, as the economy becomes electricity driven, jobs in the fuel supply chain will reduce significantly. 

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