Energy Commission focuses on mini grids to ensure countrywide power access

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe & Joshua Bediako Koomson
 Dr Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah
Dr Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah

The Energy Commission is focusing on extending mini grid power systems to many parts of the country, to support the government's agenda of ensuring universal access to electricity in the country.

The mini grid systems are solar PV and Wind powered and can provide 24 hours of uninterrupted electricity supply, with a generating capacity of 200kw.

Five of such mini grids, which were piloted under the Ghana Energy Development Access Project (GEDAP), are located at Pediatorkorpe, Alive, Alokpem and Azizakpe, all island communities in the Ada District in the Greater Accra Region.

The Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Dr Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah, made this known yesterday in Accra, at the launch of the 20th anniversary of the commission.

Present at the ceremony were representatives of key stakeholder agencies and institutions in the energy sector.


They were drawn from the Volta River Authority (VRA), Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Ghana Grid Company Limited (GridCo) and other agencies under the Ministry of Energy.

As of the end of 2017, about 84.3 per cent of the country’s population had been connected to grid electricity, with 15 per cent others who are mostly in the hinterland, yet to be connected to power.

Dr Ahenkorah said strategic partnerships were being sought with key stakeholders, including the private sector, to install more mini grid power systems next year.

He explained that the government adopted the renewable energy based mini grid systems for the electrification of island and lakeside communities to improve upon their standard of living.

He said the Energy Commission was working closely with the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to ensure the development of the mini grids.

 

Local content

Dr Ahenkorah said the Energy Commission would also partner the Ministry of Energy and other key stakeholders to implement the law on local content in the electricity sector.

“We have set up units on local content and the next step is to implement the regulations.

We have started with power producers and renewable energy technology operators in an effort to ensure that Ghanaians have a stake in the power sector,” he said.

 

Minister

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, stressed that it was important for the law on local content to be taken seriously in the power sector.

The speech, which was delivered by the Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Power, Mr Joseph Cudjoe, urged the Energy Commission to build the capacity of its human resource for them to deliver quality service in the power sector.

He lauded the commission for holding the fort for the past 20 years but stressed that there was more to be done to improve the electricity sector.