Renewable energy is best option to tackle energy problems – Duffuor

A former Minister of Finance, Dr Kwabena Duffuor has proposed to the government to start moving into renewable energy as a way of dealing with the energy problems in the country.

Dr Duffuor explained that at the moment, the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the other power generating companies are unable to produce power to meet the demands of all sectors.

To be able to meet the demand, he said, attention should be shifted to renewable energy.

The founder of the now defunct Unibank said at a public lecturer in Accra on Monday November 29 that “Ghana now relies mainly on traditional biomass as its primary source of energy coupled with a chronically fragile hydropower sector. The country has a huge potential for renewable energy which remains underexploited, and it is high time we convert these renewable potentials into actual energy. With industrialization, Ghana’s demand for electricity has been growing.

“This has prompted the country to seek alternative renewable energy sources to complement the currently dominant hydropower energy supply. Nevertheless, the electricity generation company, Volta River Authority, is unable to generate enough electricity to meet the demand of all sectors. Therefore, Ghana has been struggling with increased power rationing in the country over the past decade. The expansion of renewable energy has therefore become imperative to Ghana not only to fulfil people’s electricity needs but also to take initiative to reduce carbon gas emissions and to combat climate change.

“The fuel which is derived from natural and available resources reduces the cost of operation as it will also reduce the country’s dependence on fuels and energy from foreign sources. Furthermore, renewable energies are the cleanest and promising energy sources for future generations, with stable price and environmentally friendly due to their zero carbon emission compared to fossil fuel technologies, which are typically mechanized and capital intensive, whereas, the renewable energy industry is more labor intensive. More jobs are created for each unit of electricity generated from renewable sources and is environmentally friendly.

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“The sad situation in Ghana is that, wood fuel and charcoal have also been a major source of domestic fuel for Ghanaians both in rural communities and in urban settings for decades. A large population of Ghanaians use wood fuel at the household level owing to the fact that the households are dominated by low-income earners. ‘According to the World Health Organization, over 4 million people die from cooking fuel inhalation every year, majority of these are in Sub-Saharan Africa’.  With this scary information, Government should intensify effort and commitment towards the use of renewable energy.

“By adopting renewable energy, Ghana can create a synergistic effect where, by improving and caring for the environment, we improve our electricity capacity and create a brand new, much needed sector of jobs in this country.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana