A total of 1,796 communities would be connected to the national grid, next year; while the Government pursues major renewable and alternative energy projects to ensure adequate and reliable power to support domestic, corporate and industrial activities.

Delivering the 2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament, on Wednesday, the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori Atta, said under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation programme, the sector Ministry would distribute 12 million LED Lamps under a cost recovery programme.

“Mr. Speaker, the country’s installed generation capacity was increased from 4,132 MW in 2016 to 4,577MW in 2017,” he stated.

“In 2018, Government will continue to increase the installed generation capacity by about 487MW (Cenpower; 340MW, Early Power Phase 1; 147MW) to meet the growing demand of electricity.”

The Minister said street lights would be replaced with better efficiency lamps under the Regional Capitals Street Lighting Project.

“In line with the Ministry’s goal of increasing the penetration of renewable energy in the energy mix and the promotion of distributed solar power for government and public buildings, the Ministry will embark on an MDA Solar Rooftop Programme dubbed: ‘Government Goes Solar’ to reduce Government’s expenditure on utilities,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

“In 2018, a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Oil and Gas and renewable energy will be launched with the objective of training and developing technical capacities required in the Oil and Gas industry.”

Mr Ofori-Atta said a Local Content Legislation for the downstream petroleum industry and procurement guidelines for the upstream sector would also be developed, next year.

“The Ministry will also pursue an Accelerated Oil and Gas Capacity Building Programme in 2018,” he said.

He explained that under the Transmission System Improvement Projects, GRIDCo continued with the Transmission System Reinforcement Project to improve operational reliability, security and control among others.

Among the key achievements was the completion of the Kpando-Kadjebi 161kV Transmission Line.

The Aboadze-Prestea and Prestea-Kumasi 330kV Transmission Lines, the Minster said, were about 70% complete and would be completed next year.

Additionally, the Kumasi-Bolgatanga 330kV Transmission Line was about 50% complete and would be continued in 2018.

 “ Under the Rural Electrification Programme, 289 out of a targeted 2,185 communities were connected to the national grid with other projects at various stages of completion,” he said.

GNA/Newsghana.com.gh

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