Govt earmarks $230m for renewable energy project

BY: Mr Seth Mahu
Mr Seth Mahu
Mr Seth Mahu

The government has earmarked $230 million to promote the use of renewable energy, particularly in off-grid communities across the country.

According to the Deputy Director of Renewable Electricity at the Ministry of Energy, Mr Seth Mahu, the move would also support the industrialisation agenda and agricultural policies of the government.

He explained that the funds would be made available to the private sector to deploy over 35,000 systems in off-grid communities.

He was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a US-Africa Development Foundation (USADF) Power African Initiative workshop in Accra.

Purpose

The Project Officer for USADF Power Africa, Mr Staniel Abotsi, said the initiative “off-grid challenge,” was launched in 2014 with the aim of promoting innovative and sustainable ways to deliver reliable energy to under-served communities in Ghana.


He revealed that seven solar companies in the country won the challenge and were awarded with grants of up to $100,000 each to provide off-grid solutions.

“The workshop is, therefore, to discuss power generation expansion and renewable energy integration, financing, as well as lessons learned from indigenous players in the solar energy sector. It is also to enhance the capability of the seven Ghanaian companies to address the challenges of providing sustainable solar energy projects,” he said.

Suggested solutions after the meeting included funding and support from the government to promote renewable energy across the country.

Renewable energy

Mr Mahu stated that currently, renewable energy contributed about one per cent to the national power generation mix, but the focus was to reach 10 per cent by 2030.

“Ghana has a very rich human resource base, and with the right support, the country can go into manufacturing of renewable energy solutions,” he added.

“As part of the policy to promote renewable energy usage, the ministry was partnering with academic institutions, including the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Kumasi Technical University, to conduct research and development for the use of the country,” he said.

Activities

Mr Mahu said so far, communities such as Papase in the Ashanti Region, Nabogo in the Northern Region, Lala in the Sene East District in the Brong Ahafo Region, Fafo-Battor in the Afram-Plains North District in the Eastern Region, Chenekofe, an island community in the Krachie West District in the Volta Region, and Kuliya in the Kasena-Nankana District in the Upper East Region had all benefited from the project.

“However, we are also looking forward to partnering the government to expand the project so other communities in the country without electricity will also benefit,” he stated.