Are Ghanaian Officials Stuck on Stupid? The Case for Solar Energy (2)!

Mon, 31 Aug 2015 Source: Lungu, Prof.

By: Prof Lungu

"...Right now, India is moving strongly on Solar Energy. In Ghana, the $535 million MCC grant Ghana could develop nearly 535MW of electric power from Solar Energy in four (4) geographically separate locations, or more. Or, use some of all that billions of dollars in borrowed money, instead of spending all of it on unsustainable thermal plants and coal-fired plants. That would improve capability, functionality, reliability, and risk avoidance to the Ghana electric grid system(s). But, all of that must first be prioritized by political class and bureaucrats. Incidentally, 535MW is still exactly 66.87% of the 800MW power generating deficit at bottom of Dum-Sor (Dumsor) in Ghana. So, Ghana could have all of that 535MW solar-generated power and not need a drop of oil, not a bottle of gas, not a gunny sack of coal, or should we say, 'not a gunny sack of fake clean coal', to buy with foreign exchange Ghana does not have enough of. So, in Osibisa-speak, why is the Government of Ghana (GOG) not prioritizing solar energy today, 'Right Now' ..?." (Prof Lungu, 24 August, 2015).

We can say that even though it is a grant, we are still not taking kindly to that Terpker-signed MCC agreement because of that glaring deficiency with respect to renewable energy (i.e., Solar Power). After all, a grant is not free money or resource. Further, it is the political class in Ghana that must prioritize what Ghana needs.

Historically, and contemporaneously, solving Ghana's power crises sustainably is for us the surest way to engender economic development, in the medium- to long-term. Our key words are "historically" and "sustainably", consistent with Ghana's peculiar characteristics. There was no Dum-Sor (Dumsor) under Kwame Nkrumah because that political class understood this elementary point perfectly. Therefore, a program, even a grant, that in this Solar Age commits over $530 million into a electric power initiative, ought to have Solar Power strongly in the mix.

The MCC Power Compact II is none of that!

It ought to be, or, we must be stuck on stupid!

So, that will remain our critique in this Age of Dum-Sor (Dumsor)!

In previous essays, we noted our difficulty in understanding how proud, professional, and assertive Ghanaian officials acting in good faith on behalf of Ghana could sign on to that wacky US-centric, fossil-fuel-dependent energy initiative that limits development of solar Renewable Energy (RE) to a "pilot test" restricted to "government facilities".

We still do not understand.

And even the US is moving ahead with solar power initiative all over the country, notwithstanding resistance from the Republicans in the US Congress.

Just five days ago, President Obama was in Las Vegas, Nevada, announcing billions of dollars in additional funding to boost renewable energy use in the US, much of it for solar energy to power homes. The astute observer will certainly understand that was not a Las Vegas lucky-dice-bet or threat when Obama "...criticized fossil fuel companies lobbying against renewable energy, arguing they claimed to be for the free market "until it's solar that people are buying and suddenly you're not for it anymore."

So much for traditional US-centric capitalism that is never for anything that uplifts all the people and fosters good stewardship of the environment and society's' progressive values, that is, unless they can control all of it, or better yet, own all of it, lock, stock, and barrel!

And so, in Obama-speak, Prof Lungu, GhanaHero.com, and their supporters are doing a little reminiscing and then figuring out how we're going to deal with the crazies and the stuck-on-stupids. We will continue analyzing problems affecting the development of Ghana within our core competencies and issue essays and commentaries to inspire, educate, and compel to effective and Ghana-centered/Ghana-Proud actions. (And we will also learn. After all, we've never claimed we have all the answers to these important questions).

Here is some data on the significantly declining cost of solar power systems that makes Ghana's nonchalant disposition to Solar Energy tantamount to administrative malpractice, almost criminal!

(Read about that, and more, in Part 3 and Part 4 of this revised/updated multi-part essay).


1. Millennium Challenge Corporation. Second Ghana Compact, 5 Aug, 2014, https://www.mcc.gov/pages/countries/program/ghana-power-compact.

2. Julia Edwards (Dan Grebler and Lisa Shumaker. White House Announces Plans To Boost Renewable Energy Use. Reuters, in Huffington Post, (www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-renewable-energy_55db2bade4b04ae49703a7b7?kvcommref=mostpopular).

3. GhanaHero.com. www.GhanaHero.com/Visions. Visit for more information.

©Prof Lungu is Ghana-centered/Ghana-Proud.

Prof Lungu is based in Washington DC, USA.

Are Ghanaian Officials Stuck on Stupid? (2) The Case Solar Energy!

Brought to you courtesy www.GhanaHero.com©29 August, 2015.

Columnist: Lungu, Prof.