Business News of 2013-10-17

Renewable energy sector gets €1.8m from Germany

Ghana’s energy sector has received a boost of 1.8 million Euros from the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, through the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to be disbursed in two years.

This is in pursuance of a successful implementation of the Renewable Energy Act 832 enacted in 2011.

Speaking at the launch of the joint program for a successful implementation of the renewable energy Act in Accra, Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum John Jinapor commended the German government for its efforts over the years to build capacities in Ghana’s energy sector. He added: “Most high ranking officials in the energy sector today are beneficiaries of GIZ programs.

Mr. Jinapor giving the background of Ghana’s energy history said, the country relied solely on hydroelectricity until 1997 and 2007 when the water level in the Akosombo Dam fell drastically, forcing governments at the time to shift their attention to thermoelectricity by constructing thermal plants to support the energy sector.

The recent hitches from the West African Gas Pipeline Project which caused an energy shortfall of about 300MW, made government’s quest to invest in renewable very timely, he said.

The Deputy Minister further revealed that the Energy Commission and the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission are developing the necessary regulatory framework and guidelines for the renewable energy sector.

“The feed-in-tariff for solar, wind, hydro and biomass have been gazette which now provide basis for economic decision for investors and Government,” he added.

The Acting German Ambassador to Ghana Thomas Wimmer in his remark touted the successes of Germany's renewable energy sector, saying Germany has increased its renewable shares from 6% to 20%, triggering an investment of more than 40bn Euros (almost GH¢80bn) last year.

Mr Wimmer further added that German companies involved in the renewable energy sector also employ about 350, 000 people; a stride he urged Ghanaian companies to emulate to ease the soaring unemployment issue in Ghana.

Mr Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, a Director of Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum said the joint program will focus on building capacity of stakeholders in the renewable energy sector.

Present at the function were representatives from Energy Commission, PURC, Electricity Company of Ghana, Volta River Authority, Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), Association of Ghana Solar Industries (AGSI) and ABANTU for Development, a gender advocacy group).

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