The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has called for increased investment in renewable energy to complement existing sources of energy to meet the country's energy demands.
He said shortfalls in the fuel supply to thermal plants indicated that the country could not continue to rely on the increasing cost of fuel to supply thermal plants.
Reading a statement on "The Future of Renewable Energy in Ghana" on the floor of Parliament, Mr Annoh-Dompreh said renewable energy was capable of complementing existing sources of energy to meet the demands of the people when explored to its fullest extent.
"Renewable energy is the surest means to,reducing our energy generation bill which rises needlessly in this modern era of technology. Health benefits associated with reduced CO2 emissions for humans and also maintaining biodiversity cannot be lost on us as a nation. "It is time to practicalise our renewable energy plans and set the tone for sustainable energy generation while contributing to the global agenda for climate change to sustain the earth", he said.
Renewable energy investment
Mr Annoh-Dompreh said a key attribute of success in renewable energy exhibited in Kenya was undoubtedly private sector participation. He said investing in that direction would enable the majority who were household consumers to produce electricity for domestic use and consequently reduce the pressure on national grid to ensure sustainable industrial growth.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh called for the creation of a profitable and conducive environment for adopting renewable energy to encourage Independent Power Producers (IPPS) to invest in that sector.
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"Several national grid-connected public institutions are burdened with colossal debt to their energy supplier year in year out. Of the few that are disclosed, even much fewer generate enough revenue to offset those debts without collapsing their operations. This breeds an attitude of constant reliance on government intervention against budgetary allocations, hampering development in many other sectors of the growing economy", he said.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh, who is the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, said Ghana, like several African countries, had made commendable actions in the direction of renewable energy.
He said with sustainable energy, developments envisaged through policies and conventions like the United Nations' Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), there was no doubt that Ghana could transition to a laudable status for clean energy generation in the near future.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh said Ghana's hydro energy, which was in itself renewable as defined in Section 2 of the Renewable Energy Act 2011, Act (832), generated a significant 51.5 per cent of total electricity supplied.
Besides, he said, the wide range of renewable energy sources available in the sub Saharan region provided an assurance of the sustainability of renewable energy.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh noted that the Ministry of Energy projected a 10 per cent renewable energy penetration plan detailing solar to add 20 megawatts (MW) power and wind 240 MW by 2020, among other renewable sources being considered.
He said setting the tone for pursuit in renewable energy was a start to the outcome the country wished to see in the future.