A representative of Ghana’s energy ministry has said that the country is on the lookout for $1 billion worth of investment in renewable energy technology over the next eight years.
The African state was the first developing nation to engage with the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, and has a target to produce 10% of its electricity from clean sources by 2020. And according to Seth Mahu, deputy director of the country’s energy minister, Ghana is seeking large sums of investment in renewable resources to help it to meet this objective.
“Policies are in place to exploit the country’s energy potential in solar, biomass, wind, as well as mini-hydro”, Mahu told The Washington Post.
“We are looking at both Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian private-sector operators partnering government to develop these resources.”
As of November last year, 77% of the country’s population had access to electricity, and coming before its renewable energy aspirations is a need to provide affordable power to all communities by 2020.
The National Electrification Scheme was set up in 1989 in order to achieve this goal – a time when only a quarter of the country’s population had access to electricity.
Speaking at a forum in Ghana’s capital Accra on Friday, Adotei Brown, president of the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA), said that urgent measures need to be taken in order to capitalise on the country’s abundant clean energy resources.
“Heavy demand on power generation must lead to the use of the sun’s energy in every building and that the need to recycle water and waste and reduce air-conditioning heat-loads on our buildings may be ignored only to our peril”, he said.
For a country that has experienced significant power cuts over the last three months after a ship damaged a natural gas pipeline off the coast of Togo, Ghana’s ambitious call for renewable energy investors is much-needed.
It now has the difficult task of balancing sustainable energy with widespread access to energy – an undertaking that its clean, renewable resources can help it achieve.