Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ghana seeking $1 billion investment for renewable energy

Ghana is seeking investment of as much as $1 billion to develop
renewable-energy resources over the next eight years, according to the
Energy Ministry.

�Policies are in place to exploit the country�s energy potential in
solar, biomass, wind, as well as mini-hydro,� Seth Mahu, deputy
director at the ministry, said in an interview in the capital, Accra,
on Nov. 2. �We are looking at both Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian private-
sector operators partnering government to develop these resources.�

Ghana, which has the second-biggest economy in West Africa, has
experienced more than three months of electricity cuts after a natural-
gas pipeline off the coast of Togo was damaged by a ship. The pipe
supplies gas for power from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana and the
outage is expected to continue until December, according to the West
African Gas Pipeline Co.

Growth in the $39 billion economy 2013 is forecast to slow to 7.8
percent from 8.2 percent this year, according to the International
Monetary Fund.

The renewable-energy investments will add 500 megawatts of power to
the nation�s capacity and help expand electricity provision to all
parts of the country, �especially in isolated areas,� said Mahu.

Ghana�s current 2,443-megawatt capacity reaches 72 percent of the
population, according to figures from the ministry. The damage to the
gas pipeline curbed power supplies by about 300 megawatts, Energy
Minister Joe Oteng-Adjei said in September.
Solar Panels

President John Dramani Mahama, who is vying to win a second term in
office for his ruling National Democratic Congress party in an
election next month, pledged electricity for the whole country by
2016. Both Mahama and his main opponent, Nana Akufo- Addo of the New
Patriotic Party, promised to boost production to 5,000 megawatts.

Ghana has almost 10,000 solar-panel installations in communities that
don�t have access to the national power grid, Edward Bawa, a spokesman
for the ministry, said yesterday.

�We are doing a test run of wind-energy installations in the Central
region,� he said, referring to the southern area that borders the
capital city region.

A hydroelectric plant on a dam at Bui, in the central-west Brong Ahafo
region, is expected to add 400 megawatts of power in the first quarter
of 2013, said Mahu. Ghana derives 1,180 megawatts from two hydro
plants on the Volta River in eastern Ghana, including Akosombo, which
was opened in 1965 by the country�s first president, Kwame Nkrumah.

Ghana is developing its own natural-gas reserves and will supply 150
million standard cubic feet each day for thermal power generation,
Mahu said.

�This will provide cheaper fuel for energy generation from December,�
George Sipa Yankey, head of the Ghana National Gas Co., said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ekow Dontoh in Accra at

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