Players in the renewable energy sector are stepping up the promotion of energy conservation, efficiency and knowledge transfer as the country continues to find alternatives to the raging energy crisis
The beneficiaries are certified electricians who are members of the Certified Electrical Wiring Professionals (CEWPAG) and drawn from all regions of the country.
Solar PV is a technology that converts sunlight (solar radiation) into direct current electricity by using semiconductors. When the sun hits the semiconductor within the PV cell, electrons are freed and form an electric current. Solar PV technology is generally employed on a panel (hence solar panels).
The country has for decades relied solely on hydropower, generated by three dams, of which the Akosombo Dam is the largest. The Akosombo Dam was originally built in the 1920s to serve the British. It was revamped in the 1950s by
Despite generating enough electricity to afford
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The country has had periods of load shedding exercises in the past; in 1983, 1998, 2006/7, and as recently
In recent years, due to a drought that has lowered the water levels in the Volta River (which feeds the lake), and subsequently, the Volta Lake, the dam has seen a consistent drop in water levels below the acceptable operational levels. Thus, the Akosombo dam, and the two other dams, Kpong and Bui, have been operating at diminished capacities of 900, 140 and 342 MW instead of at their operating installed capacity of 1020, 160 and 400 MW, respectively.
Energy experts have in recent years advocated a departure from the over-reliance on electric energy to the usage of renewable energy sources such as Solar PV.
To increase the rate of penetration of Solar PV usage, CEWPAG
Partners on the project include the Energy Commission, the Electricity Company of Ghana, Telsol KA Ltd with the IIR of CSIR providing the technical training with funding from the Skills Development Fund (SDF) and the Danish government through DANIDA.
Speaking at a closing ceremony of a 5-day Training-of-Trainers Workshop in Accra, the Training
He said that with an average of four-hour sunshine,
“Solar is no longer expensive.
These days, the cost of the panels has reduced drastically and with the number of people trained, the country now has adequate expertise to aid the penetration of solar PV as an alternative energy source”, he added.
The National President of CEWPAG,
A participant from the Upper West Region, Mutawakilu Mogtari appealed for a government subsidy for the importation of Solar components to make it more affordable for potential users to increase its usage.
He added a high solar penetration will substantially lift the burden off traditional energy sources that have proven to be inefficient, unreliable and exhaustive and further conserve the environment.
Group photo of participants and