SOLAR

Ghana must have a national policy on the use of Solar Energy. A policy that should set the country on the part of utilizing free and abundant energy from the sun.

A 5 YEAR NATIONAL SOLAR ENERGY POLICY

I will propose: “In the next 5 years 60% OF ALL HOUSEHOLDS IN GHANA MUST HAVE SOLAR PANELS installed to provide electricity”.

The country must in the next 5 years have 60% of households install PV (Photo Voltage) to provide electric power. Going Solar will be good for the country. It will be cheaper for the household in the long term. It is environment friendly. We can free household electricity consumption to feed the industries. Industries will get cheap electricity. This will attract more companies into the country. This will create more jobs.

The government role is not to provide incentives for people to install PV in their homes. The government role is to:

1. Set a policy on the use of solar energy in the country and make sure there is a full support from all political parties.

2. Create a conducive environment to facilitate this policy. Banks providing soft loans for people to install PVs on their rooftops.

3. Legislate rules and regulations that will protect the installer, the financier and the end-user.

4. De-monopolize ECG and VRA monopoly on electricity production, distribution and sales.

The rest will come from stakeholders i.e. the end-user, the installer and the financiers. Having national policy on SOLAR Energy will attract substantial PV manufacturing companies into the country. It will also create more companies to install PV systems.

Ghana is blessed with abundant of all kinds of natural resources. The most notable of all is the sunshine, which is available all year round. The amount of energy (in the form of sunshine) that hits the earth surface is 200 times the energy consume on earth. If Ghana go solar our energy problem will be solved once and for all. Households will experience constant electricity. Power or electricity will be produced locally and use locally. “Dumso” will be a thing of the past.

The main source of electricity production in Ghana are hydro and thermal plant. The installed capacity currently is 3,794.6 MW. Hydro plants account for 1580 MW, Thermal 2192 MW and Renewables only 22.6 MW.

Thermal which accounts the most is expensive and has negative effect on both the environment and the economy. Renewables – SOLAR which accounts the least is cheap in the long-run, environmental friendly and will have positive effect on the economy.

PV (Photo Voltage) systems has high initial cost but running cost is zero and maintenance cost is almost zero as well. If one compare PV to a generator, the lifecycle analysis of the two shows that even though PV having a high initial cost it has zero running cost and this makes it cheaper in the long-run.

At the moment “DUMSO” has been reduced drastically but not solved completely. The problem still persist. The water level at Akosombo and Bui will go down in the dry season. Oil prices will go up at some point. “DUMSO” will come back again.

This is time for Ghana to find a permanent solution to our electricity problem. The permanent solution is for Ghana to use free energy from the sun to power our households, transport goods and services from all corners of the country – solar driven trains. The sun shines all year round.

The vast amount of money proposed for investments and expansions in the energy sector could be directed into soft loans for projects that will install solar panels on rooftop of households. These investments has short payback periods.

The government goal of 10% renewable energy mix by 2030 is not good enough. Ghana could achieve 60% renewable energy mix by 2030. Yes we can. This is realistic. This is achievable, because we have people in the country that can take up this task. The country has all it takes to achieve this goal. All we need is a policy direction supported by constructive action.

Let’s all come together and make this a reality. Let’s go solar to solve our energy problem once and for all. This will stimulate our economy. Let’s through one stone to kill two birds.

This article was written by Kwabena Osei – MD for Sustain Ghana. Tel: 020 769 1477 and email: [email protected]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.