President John MahamaPresident John Mahama last week inaugurated the first feed-in of renewable energy into the national transmission grid, with a two- megawatt plant at Navrongo as a pilot programme.

The Navrongo Solar Power Plant is the first in the country to be integrated into the national grid in line with the country?s energy strategy, setting a goal of renewable energy constituting 10 percent of the national energy generation by 2020.

?Today is historic because here in Navrongo we are setting in motion the first initiative of what will eventually become a major source of future energy supply in our country,? he said.

As our economy continues to grow at a rapid pace, he continued, the demand for power also increases at an even faster pace.

?We must put into the system at least 200 megawatts every year if we are to keep ahead of demand. I have committed myself to increase Ghana?s installed generation capacity to 5,000 megawatts by 2015.?

However, he noted that to achieve the goal of expanded generation and universal access to energy under the ?Energy for All? programme, there are certain issues to be considered which include: increased private sector investment in electricity generation and distribution; reduction of unaccounted-for power; conservation of electricity; payment of realistic tariffs and the decentralisation of electricity programmes.

He indicated that it is his resolve to have the renewable energy sources contribute immensely to the energy mix. And since he said a lot of work is being done in that direction, the President expressed confidence in achieving the target of renewable energy in the energy portfolio by 2020.

President Mahama conceded that two megawatts is a modest capacity, but added that it is enough to feed the whole district.

Following directives from the Presidency, he said he expects the Ministry of Energy to expedite action on ongoing efforts to develop other renewable energy resources including wind, biomass and waste-to-energy.

He noted that nine provisional licences have been issued to private developers by the Energy Commission to begin exploration for energy from some of the above sources.

    The president also stated that the Volta River Authority is also progressively developing an additional 10 megawatt Solar Plant in the Upper West Region with support from KfW of Germany, a 50 megawatt hydro-power plant at Pwalugu, and 150 megawatts of wind power along the coast among others.

He urged the Public Utility Regulatory Commission and the relevant sector agencies to expedite action to finalise and publish the Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariffs, thus enabling the private sector to take full advantage of provisions in the Renewable Energy Act. 

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