General News of Mon, 10 Sep 20183

Youth urged to tap opportunities in renewable energy sector

An expert in renewable energy has urged the youth to make meaningful use of the numerous opportunities in the renewable energy sector as the country explore the rise in its use.

Mr Lovans Owusu Takyi, the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Solutions (ISEES), who gave the advice, said the sector provides a lot of potentials for the youth.

He was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after the Global Climate Action Summit held in Accra at the weekend, to garner support and assist Ghana to achieve her target of increasing the use of renewable energy to up to 10 per cent.

The Global Climate Action Summit, is in line with the Governor of California, Jerry Brown’s goal to demonstrate an unstoppable wave of climate action from non-state actors and to catalyse participants to step up ambition.

The Ghana Reducing Our Carbon (G-ROC), is a formal network of youth-based grassroots movements affiliated to 350.org, formed with the aim of mobilising and empowering young people, in partnership with key stakeholders, to actively champion the need to reduce carbon emissions and promote renewable energy systems as a key effort in combating climate change in Ghana.

Enumerating the opportunities in the sector, Mr Owusu Takyi said, the youth could develop business modules around building integrated solar panel for households, where individuals pay in instalment to reduce the burden of having to pay one time huge cost.

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He added that young people could also venture into research in the sector to identify other innovative ways of achieving the 10 per cent renewable energy mix that government was determined to achieve.

He said the opportunities are available because the country’s energy resources base is strong, adding that "we have good solar radiation for solar energy through solar panels".

Mr Owusu Takyi said young people, when made aware of the opportunities within the renewable energy industry, could begin designing African-made renewable energy solution, because most renewable energy solutions used in the country were imported.

He said the ISEES in partnership with Energy Solutions commenced the ‘African Energy Generation Prise’ to train young people in renewable energy, solar energy, bio-energy and waste management entrepreneurships.

He said the ‘African Energy Generation Prise’ was initiated to enable desiring young people to develop and use design system approach to engineer solutions that could address the energy challenge in Ghana.

Mr Owusu Takyi said the youth needs skills training, in both technical and entrepreneurship, adding that “We have different types of solar solutions such as solar irons for ironing clothes, solar chargers, and solar generators for powering our televisions, fans and fridges.”

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He noted that young people could visit the ISEES website to access the ‘African Energy Generation Prise’ and get themselves trained in some income earning skills.

He said young people could also venture into the marketing of renewable energy technology, in the area of bringing solar and clean cooking technologies to the doorsteps of people who need it most.

“They can also go into the actual development of the technologies using clay, mud and bricks to build cook stoves for people in the rural areas, that are more energy efficient and which uses less firewood,” he said.

Mr Owusu Takyi said, “By deploying these technologies of cook stoves, you are improving the health of women and children (who use the kitchen in most cases)" adding that, a report by the World Health Organisation estimated that about 17,000 people die out of smoke emissions, through cooking.

He said, government and relevant stakeholders ought to consider developing innovative challenges or competitions that would help to train young people in design systems, and be able to come out with solutions within the energy, climate and waste industries, which provides numerous potentials and opportunities for young people to become innovative.

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