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General News Tue, 24 Feb 2004

Government to invest in solar technology

Tamale, Feb 24, GNA - The government would invest between 20 and 25 million cedis in the promotion of Solar Photovoltaic Technology in the rural areas under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Renewable Energy Road Map for Ghana.

This is to complement the activities of private solar distributors and also increase access to the use of solar energy in deprived communities. Mr Idris Alariba Baba, a solar energy technician said this at a day's workshop on: "Solar Energy Awareness" in Tamale on Tuesday.

Renewable Energy Services Project (RESPRO), DENGSKOF Limited (DENG) and Best Solar all private business concerns involved in the energy sector organised the workshop for NGOs, district assemblies, donor agencies health workers and pharmacists.

The forum was to sensitise the people on the benefits of solar and also showcase the range of solar appliances the companies have developed.

Mr Baba said the solar photovoltaic technology could, among other benefits, be used to generate electricity to provide refrigeration and television services especially for the rural poor.

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He said the major problem the rural communities face in the use of solar energy was, however, its high cost, which cannot meet their pockets.

He noted that even the small number of those in the rural setting who use solar energy do not enjoy the subsidy that customers hooked to the national electricity grid enjoy.

He said in view of this the network was appealing for increased government subsidies on solar energy for the rural people, while the service providers would among others things, make provision for end-user credit schemes, introduce appropriate sizing of systems to meet real needs and effective marketing of products and services to their customers.

Mr Michael Baabu, Market Development Officer of DENG said his organisation was collaborating with RESPRO, NewEnergy, ActionAid and other NGOs to change the situation by bringing solar services and products to the doorstep of the people through a network of regional distributors and community based maintenance technicians.

Source: GNA
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