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Opinions Sat, 9 Feb 2013

Solar Power Systems: Remove All Taxes Now

By Kofi Thompson

As electricity rationing becomes the new norm in Ghana, perhaps President Mahama's administration ought to come up with an innovative means of empowering ordinary Ghanaians at this very trying time - with a creative and sustainable solution that makes them more or less immune to being inconvenienced by national grid power outages.

We have abundant sunshine countrywide most days in Ghana.

Why does the government not remove all taxes on solar panels and other components for solar power systems, in the next budget to bring down the initial cost of acquiring solar power units?

And would making income from leasing and selling solar power systems tax-free, also not make it possible for ordinary Ghanaians to purchase them for their homes and offices (such as bank branches - and ATM's come to think of it)?

If it is technically possible, should we also not think of retro-fitting all street lights and traffic lights in Ghana? Ditto augmenting power from the national grid with solar power systems for educational institutions, government healthcare facilities, offices, buildings etc., nationwide?

Surely, if properly explained, most Ghanaians would agree to the government using a portion of the revenue from our oil and gas deposits, as well as accept a small increase in value added tax for example, to pay for solar power systems for public schools, healthcare facilities, the barracks of the military and other security agencies, as well as other public buildings and to fund subsidies for the manufacture and sale of affordable solar power systems to the general public?

Renewable energy, such as solar power, is an idea whose time has come.

To encourage Ghanaians to install solar power systems in their properties, the government ought to remove all taxes on solar panels and the components of solar power systems. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com.

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi