Business News of 2013-11-06

Consider renewable energy seriously; Experts urge local players

Some renewable energy experts in the country say Ghana has all the conditions necessary to generate power from renewable sources to support economic growth and development.

The Head of Energy and Environment Department of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK), Mr Joachim Scheid, and his colleague, Mr Paul Okan-Adjetey, a renewable energy expert, told the Daily Graphic that most of the waste generated in the country was biodegradable and could be harnessed for power generation to support the industry and economic development.

They said the country could overturn the unsustainable practice of dumping waste into the sea and explore opportunities for establishing a cyclical system to make waste management regenerative and eco-friendly.

Speaking ahead of the AHK-organised West Africa Clean Energy Exhibition and Conferences (WACEE’13) slated for November 12-14, 2013, Mr Scheid said it should be possible to use local capital to invest in renewable energy projects in order to prevent capital flight.

However, some multilateral financial institutions such as the German development bank, KfW; its affiliate, DEG, which finances private sector projects in sectors such as renewable energy, as well as the World Bank Group, were all available sources that the country could look to for support in financing bankable energy projects from renewable sources.

AHK represents German business interests in Ghana and advocates Ghanaian-German business cooperation.

WACEE’13, which will take place at the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra, is being organised in partnership with Fairtrade, a German fair-organising firm. The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the State Ministry for Federal Affairs, Europe and the Media of North Rhine Westphalia are sponsoring the conferences in cooperation with GIZ.

European corporate giants such as Energiebau and PricewaterhouseCoopers are the Platinum and Silver sponsors of West Africa’s big event. Other sponsors include institutions such as KfW, DEG and MBG with media support by the Graphic Communications Group Ltd.

The conferences are on the themes: “Ghanaian-German Renewables Business Forum: Setting the Ground for Sustainable Energy Development” and “Achieving More with Less: Resource and Energy Efficiency for Public and Private Sector”.

Messers Scheid and Okan-Adjetey said the country had enough sunshine and wind for projects in photovoltaic (PV) energy projects (solar energy), as well as generating power from biomass which is agricultural and plant residues, which the experts refused to label as ‘waste’.

Ghana is said to have much more potential in solar energy than Germany, for instance, which produces about nine per cent of its power needs from solar sources.

The experts told the Daily Graphic that the conferences, scheduled as part of WACEE’13, would focus on renewable energy and waste management and how to harness their potential.

Local and international experts have been assembled to speak at the three-day conference to generate interest and discuss energy projects for the country, sustainability and efficiency.