Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Ghana's Minister for Energy

Ghana’s Minister for Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has announced plans by the government to lift the moratorium placed on the signing of new power projects especially Renewable Energy.

According to the Minister, his outfit is expediting actions particularly renegotiation of existing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), reviewing of the renewable energy licensing situations and would very soon announce new directives to ensure that existing and selected new projects that are bankable in both private and public sectors can move forward.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh was speaking at the opening of the 7th Ghana Renewable Energy Fair and Exhibition in Accra on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

The 7th Ghana Renewable Energy Fair and Exhibition is being organised by Energy Commission in collaboration with Ministry of Energy.

It is under the theme: ‘Removing Barriers to Renewable Energy Development in Ghana’.

The sector Minister said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s role as the Co-Chair of the Group of Eminent Advocates of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SGDs), affirms Ghana’s position to promote sustainable energy for Ghana’s development and the world at large.

By this, Ghana is leading the way by promoting the rapid development of renewable energy in Ghana’s energy generation mix.

Dr Opoku Prempeh, therefore, disclosed that Ghana’s medium-to-long-term goal is to increase the contribution of renewable energy sources from solar, waste to energy and wind from the current 120MW installed capacity, representing 2.4 per cent of the generation mix, to more than 1000MW.

“Thus, we want to attain a minimum of 10 per cent contribution from renewable energy in the generation mix by 2030,” he added.

Though the world economy had been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, which had also affected investment in renewable energy, the Minister believes that the successes that the Ghana Renewable Energy Fair has chalked in the past six years are a result of the growing interest to decarbonize the planet and limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

In the development of the country’s renewable energy industry, the Volta River Authority has added 17MW solar PV from their Kaleo and Lawra project financed by KfW this year, which cabinet has considered the proposal to increase the 17MW Kaleo- Lawra capacity to about 35MW by end of 2023, the Minister said.

“The Bui Power Authority, on the other hand, has also completed the installation of 51MW solar PV at Bui in the Bono Region, which include the first-ever 1MW floating solar PV installation in the ECOWAS region.”

While encouraging the Bui Power Authority to ramp up its solar generation to 250MW with the infrastructure and resources at their disposal, the Ministry of Energy has assured its support to enable the Authority to reach its full renewable energy potential.

He also announced that the construction of the Pwalugu Multi-purpose power plant comprising of a 60MW hydropower hybridized with a 50MW solar plant by the VRA is ongoing while Ghana has completed the projects preparatory phase of the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP).

“All things being equal, we are poised to commence full implementation of the SREP by the second quarter of 2022.

“The programme would provide opportunities to both the public and private sectors in the deployment and use of renewable energy in the country. The SREP would also contribute significantly to the attainment of our last mile electrification goal by 2025.

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“Even though the renewable energy sector is equally affected by the energy sector challenges, we have put in place policies, strategies and programmes to address them, remove barriers and restore investor confidence and growth.”

Speaking on behalf of the President, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah said the government, as part of efforts in opening up the renewable energy sector for investment, is exploring the regional markets and positioning Ghana to become a major exporter of reliable and competitive electricity in the ECOWAS region.

This, according to her, would not only benefit Ghana in terms of foreign exchange earnings but will also contribute to the regional economic inclusiveness strategy, strengthening energy security and peace in the sub-region.

She expressed the hope that the conference would offer participants the opportunity to come up with tangible solutions that would help remove the barriers facing the development of renewable energy in the country.

It would be climaxed tomorrow Thursday, October 14, with a Renewable Energy Challenge among competing Senior High Schools drawn from across the country.

Source: https://energynewsafrica.com

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