Prof Atepor (right) delivering the lecture in Cape Coast
Prof Atepor (right) delivering the lecture in Cape Coast

Addressing energy challenges: Prof. Atepor advocates alternative sources

It is important the country diversifies its energy sources because over-reliance on hydro and fossil fuel energy presents uncertainty for the future of the sector, the Dean of the School of Engineering and acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Cape Coast Technical University, Prof. Lawrence Atepor, has said.

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He has, therefore, called on managers of the nation's energy sector to explore diverse sources of energy to enhance and sustain the sector for accelerated economic growth.

Delivering his inaugural lecture in Cape Coast on the theme: "Complex nonlinear green energy technology: Exploring the nexus to grid integration for economic health", Prof. Atepor said the country had several possible energy sources which could be explored.

He said approximately 66.4 per cent of the nation’s energy installed capacity stemmed from oil and gas and 33.9 per cent from hydro installations. Also, available data on energy in 2022 indicated that only 0.7 per cent of the country's energy sources was from solar photovoltaic (pv) and bio-gas.

The lecture was attended by academicians, politicians and some traditional rulers.  Prof. Atepor observed that the prevailing situation in the country was subjecting the economy to exorbitant and volatile electricity prices.

He said depleting crude oil reserves, a surge in electricity demands, prices of fossil fuels and associated environmental issues required that attention was given to other green energy sources.

Prof. Atepor added that energy problems inexorably impacted other sectors because it remained a critical driver for the socio-economic development of every nation. He said the "dumsor" the nation was experiencing was affecting many businesses and social activities, adding that access to green energy could reduce poverty, improve water and energy supply, among other benefits.

The energy expert, therefore, stressed the need to bring stakeholders together to fashion ways of addressing the nation's energy problems for the sustainable growth of the country.

Expand research

Prof. Atepor further called on research centres and institutions of higher learning to expand research and come up with innovative programmes on green energy technology that would find answers to the energy challenges in the country.

He said to achieve a fast-growing rate of renewable electricity growth in the country, there was the need to set ambitious clean energy targets, adopt a proactive approach by providing incentives and risk-management instruments so that utilities could incorporate green sources of energy without suffering economic losses.

The energy expert suggested that wind turbines, solar panels and biogas energy sources could be explored as cost-effective alternatives.

Decentralisation 

Prof. Atepor also called for decentralisation of energy to ensure sources were closer to communities they served to reduce the high cost of transmission, particularly hydro energy.

He said awareness should also be created on added advantage of bio-fuel and battery-operated vehicles over conventional fossil fuelled vehicles and the possibilities of generating green energy from such vehicles.  

The Vice-Chancellor of CCTU, Prof. Kweku Adutwum Ayim Boakye, commended Prof. Atepor for his immense contribution to knowledge and innovation in the energy sector.

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