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Water, energy experts converge on Accra, to explore sustainability, renewal options

BY: Doreen Andoh
Mr Gerald Forkuor, Senior Scientist and Technical Advisor to the Executive Director, West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), making a contribution at the meeting
Mr Gerald Forkuor, Senior Scientist and Technical Advisor to the Executive Director, West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), making a contribution at the meeting

Water and energy management experts from across the country are meeting in Accra to dialogue on how to improve power supply and better adopt renewable energy in the face of projected climate changes.

The meeting has become imperative in view of the impact climate changes are likely to have on electricity generation methods such as hydro, wind and solar.

It has, therefore, become crucial for the country to explore options for energy sustainability and renewal.

Participants

The five-day workshop has brought together experts from the Energy Commission, the Water Resources Commission, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, the Volta River Authority, the Water Research Institute and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

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Some participants in the workshop will be involved in a research for climate-resilient, renewable based energy and water management systems.

They will also be introduced to and given hands-on-training on two software tools on water and energy modelling.

The software tools are the Water Evaluation and Planning Systems (WEAP) and the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning Systems (LEAP).

The workshop is being hosted by the West African Science Services Centre on Climate Adaptation and Land Use (WASCAL) and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).

Opening ceremony

In his remarks at a brief ceremony to open the workshop in Accra yesterday, a hydrologist from the SEI, Mr Devaraj de Condappa, explained that it formed part of a project being carried out by Ghana’s development partners, the outcome of which would serve as a proposal for renewable energy in the face of projected climate changes.

Called the Climate Information for Integrated Renewable Electricity Generation (CIREG), the project began in 2018 and is expected to end in 2020.

Its implementation in Ghana is led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Impact Research (PIK), a German government-funded research institute that addresses crucial scientific questions in the fields of global change, climate impacts and sustainable development.

Mr Condappa said the CIREG project was an elaboration of a model-based support for decision-makers in the energy sector by establishing and providing necessary climate services.

“Given the projected climate variability, electricity generation through renewable sources such as hydro, wind or solar is likely to be challenged. CIREG thus will consider the entire water-energy-food-climate connection because decisions taken in the energy sector will inevitably have a feedback on water supply and food production,” he said.

Mr Condappa said the goals of the project included delivering demand-driven climate services to support renewable energy planning, implementation and investment decisions aligned with the sustainable development goals and nationally determined contributions.

In remarks made on his behalf, the Executive Director of WASCAL, Dr Moumini Savadogo, said if the connection between water and energy in the modelling of power and water for public consumption was well managed, it could accelerate climate resilience for sustainable development.

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