The Nsawam Adoagyiri MP, Frank Annoh-Dompreh has called on Parliament to expedite action in establishing the Renewable Energy Authority to promote exploitation of the sector to aid economic recovery in the country post Covid-19.
According to him, a well-resourced and properly constituted Renewable Energy Authority is much needed to drive Ghana’s renewable agenda and support post-pandemic recovery through targeted and deliberate action.
In a speech delivered on the floor of Parliament, Annoh-Dompreh who is also the Chief Whip of the Majority Caucus in Parliament stated that Ghana would be joining other African countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Kenya and South Africa among others who have expressed strong commitment towards accelerated use of modern renewable energy and are leading energy transition efforts.
“Kenya is set to install 1.4 gigawatts, Ethiopia is installing almost 570 megawatts while South Africa installs 3.9 gigawatts of renewable energy,” he said.
According to him, such huge investments in alternate safer energy sources would not only significantly help these countries meet their long-term climate goals as stated in the Paris Agreement, but would foster growth in the economy through job creation and opportunities.
Citing Kenya’s renewable energy drive he said, “This East African nation is already on track to meet or exceed its Paris Agreement pledge. It stated goal is to achieve 100% of renewable energy power generation by 2030 complemented by a diverse technology mix.
“Harnessing renewable energy in Kenya will not only enable the country to meet its long-term climate goals but will ultimately help realise its ambition of becoming a middle-income country by the end of the decade.”
He added that taking into consideration the job losses occasioned by the advent of the coronavirus in the country, the creation of the Renewable Energy Authority to expedite exploitation of the sector would help alleviate the unemployment conundrum the country is currently facing.
He explained that, “Renewable energy is also set to boost job creation in the country.
“According to a ‘job census’ report by Power for All, a non-governmental organisation, growth in the renewable energy sector is already having a positive spinoff as the sector’s workforce is now comparable with traditional power grids and utilities.
“The sector currently employs around 4,000 informal workers compared to 10,000 employed across the country’s traditional energy sectors. Jobs in renewable energy are expected to grow by 100% in the next four years.”
Annoh-Dompreh said despite President Akufo-Addo’s immense commitment to diversifying renewables through the establishment of several large renewable energy projects, government’s failure to create the Renewable Energy Authority has left a rather large vacuum in Ghana’s renewable resource drive.
“Without prejudice to the immense contributions of our stakeholders in the energy sector, right from the Ministry responsible for Energy and the Energy Commission of Ghana, to representatives in the community of academia who continue to provide scientific research support towards the development of renewable energy, it is undeniable that the absence of the Renewable Energy Authority belies all of our achievements under renewable energy in Ghana,” he stated.
According to him, setting up the Authority would “facilitate implementation of the renewable energy master plan which among other benefits would expedite the installation of1363.63 MW of electricity (with grid connected systems totaling 1094.63 MW.)
“This has the capacity to create 220,000 job opportunities, and carbon savings of about 11 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.”
He has further called for all state institutions to be installed with solar panels to afford space to industry and other critical areas of the economy.