The Institute for Energy Policies Research (INSTEPR), an energy think tank in the Republic of Ghana, believes Ghana could return to the era of power outages if the problem of bad transmission and distribution system are not fixed.

The energy think tank made this prediction in its 2021 Outlook and Expectation in Ghana’s Energy sector recently.

“Old transformers and substations will make the electricity network unreliable, causing low voltages, overloading and power outages,” INSTEPR stated.

“There is a need for huge capital investment into the electricity distribution and transmission infrastructure in the country to help reduce these losses,” INSTEPR observed.

Ghana was thrown into five years of power crisis between 2012 and 2016, resulting in the collapse of several businesses.
The situation compelled the then Mahama-administration to procure emergency power barges and signing of numerous power purchase agreement in a bid to address the issue.

In a statement, INSTEPR, which does not expect the country to return to those dark days again, tasked the government to swiftly revisit the aborted Private Sector Participation (PSP) programme in 2021, which ECG was to invest over USD$500 million in new infrastructure to reduce these technical and commercial losses.

The Institute also called for strategic measures in the energy sector to meet Ghana’s power needs as the West African nation continues to grow.

Per the projection of INSTEPR, the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) has an unpaid invoice of up to USD$1.44 billion as September 2020 according to CIPDiB.

They proposed that if Ghana wants to prevent recurrence of power outages, then, financial investment needs to be made into the power sector.

“The Independent Power Producers (IPPs) has an unpaid invoice of up to USD $1.44 billion as of September 2020, according to CIPiB.This debt keeps growing through Cash Waterfall Mechanisms has been implemented since April 2020. The total revenue collected by ECG from consumers is not enough to meet the invoices from various stakeholders in the value chain. This is mostly to do with the technical and commercial losses experienced in Transmission and Distribution,” INSTEPR warned.

They explained that in 2020, transmission loss was 4.7 percent, which is 1.8 percent higher than the projected losses of 2.7 percent and distribution losses have also increased to 26.63 percent as against the regulatory Benchmark of 23.2 percent.



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