Monday, April 13, 2015

COMING UP!>>Ep.39: Impact of Ghana's Power Crisis(1): Why Renewable Energy?

  • Episode #39:  

Impact of Power Crisis (1): Why Renewable Energy, and Options for Financing?

That we have a power crisis in Ghana is obvious.

As to what ordinary citizens can do to find cost-effective solutions for it is less-so. It is for this reason we are dedicating the month of April to exploring the impacts of the power crisis on different sectors, healthy living, and an exploration of what solutions exist in renewable energies, such as solar energy.
According to a 2014 report by the Cape Verde-based EcowasCentre on Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, the ECOWAS region is one of the most active for the promotion of renewable energy and energy-efficiency systems.

Apart from hydropower, the region is endowed with modern biomass; solar and wind energy. Ghana, like Nigeria, has biomass and hydropower. Conversely, Cape Verde has wind power. Ghana’s Eastern neighbor in Nigeria has the largest installed hydropower capacity (under 2000MW), while Ghana has 1,580MW in total with Akosombo; Kpong & Bui put together.

What’s clear from the ECREEE report is that, together, ECOWAS can have a more secure energy-security.  This is buttressed by the fact that, renewable energy systems are tools that can help propel economic development and create jobs. It comes as little surprise, therefore, that in May 2013, East African Community decided to set up a Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency agency based on the West African model in Cape Verde; and that the SADC as recently as November 2014 decided to setsame Institute up on ECOWAS’ model.

There is no gainsaying we need to be paying more attention to energy-security and renewable energies.

As we do, we need to also take into consideration what financing options exist for the procurement of renewables, such as solar energy? Are there any tax incentives already in place, as the PURC is calling for for SMEs? That news reports in March indicated that PURC was helping import solar panels for SMEs speaks to the acknowledgement of the impact of the power crisis on the Northern part of the country, where a number of SMEs are also populated.

If this is part of the PURC’s advocacy, will it scale it up to other regions and, most importantly, where will it get the money from to take what is arguably a decisive step on providing financing for a renewable energy source?

April is “Energy Security & Renewable Energy month” on the Africa in Focus Show, and we hope to hear from you as we have this very important discussion that will help offer some solutions to dynamising both the country and sub-region.

Call us on the following numbers when we open the phone lines at 14h30 GMT
+233(0)289.000.931 // +233(0)289.931.000

Join us if you can at 1pm on 14 April, 2015.

Guiding questions
  • What are renewable energies, and why should Ghana be interested?
  • West Africa is endowed with lots of solar energy. Why has government not been patronizing solar long before the power crisis?
  • Will the power crisis help make procurement of solar energy easier?
  • What are some of the impacts of power crisis on Ghanaians?
  • What financing options are available for Ghanaians?
  • Why does Ghana’s Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) believe SMEs need financing for solar energies?
  • In the absence of specific and targeted financing for private sector organisations like the Ghana Association of Savings & Loans Company (GHASALC), can organisations like SNV assist in the financing of renewables with public-private-partnerships?

Guests in the studio:
Ø  Lovans Owusu-Takyi, Associate Advisor, Renewable Energy, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
Ø  Bridget Menyeh, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
Ø  Nana Yaa Jantuah, Director of External & Public Affairs, Public Utilities Regulatory Commission

On the line:
·         H.E. Charles Josob, High Commissioner of Namibia to Ghana @13h15
· Eunice Marfo, Executive Secretary, Ghana Association of Savings & Loans Company(GHASALC) @13h30

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