President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the government is committed to increasing the contribution of solar power in the country’s energy mix.
Despite the abundance of sunshine, with many parts of the country enjoying high levels of solar irradiation all year round, he said, “solar energy only contributes one per cent to the energy mix, as opposed to 59 per cent from fossil fuels, and 40 per cent from hydro.”
He was speaking at the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit in New Delhi, India, which ended yesterday.
President Akufo-Addo attended the summit at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, and the President of the French Republic, Mr Emmanuel Macron.
The summit, attended by 25 Heads of State and Government, was aimed at realising “the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting the energy needs of ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.”
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President Akufo-Addo said “a major strategy to achieving increasing solar energy use in Ghana was for the government to build the relevant domestic capacity in the manufacture and assembling of solar energy systems and accessories in the country.
This will also help create job opportunities for our vibrant and hardworking youth,” he added.
He indicated that the government was keen on building the most business-friendly environment for investment, especially, in the renewable energy sector.
“On the basis of my country’s specific needs, the government is keen on developing utility-scale solar energy projects, as well as accelerating the development of mini-grid solutions in off-grid and island communities for lighting, irrigation and other economic activities,” President Akufo-Addo said.
To that end, and in keeping with Ghana’s commitments under the Paris agreement, the President outlined some solar energy programmes for implementation by 2030, including the attainment of utility-scale solar electricity from about 22.5 megawatts to 250 megawatts.
Additionally, he said 200,000 solar systems for households, commercial and government facilities in urban and selected non- electrified rural communities would be installed, while 55 mini-grid electrification systems, with an average capacity of 100 kilowatts would be established.
The systems, the President said, would be based on solar cells technology, which would be hybridised with other generation options to serve islands and off-grid communities.
Furthermore, President Nana Akufo-Addo said the government would distribute two million solar lanterns to replace kerosene lanterns, currently being used by rural non-electrified households.
Establishment of ISA
President Nana Akufo-Addo said “the establishment of the International Solar Alliance, in our view, is very appropriate in today’s circumstances. That is why Ghana did not hesitate in ratifying the framework agreement of this noteworthy Alliance.”
He was confident that “together, we can ensure the satisfactory performance of the ISA framework agreement, and, thereby, make the laudable objectives of the ISA a reality.”