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GOVERNMENTS MUST BUILD AND SUSTAIN A RESILIENT POWER HUB TO CATER FOR THE GROWING DEMAND 

By Michelle Fafa Agbenorto

Literature on energy in any development jurisdiction has it that the rapid economic development of any economy requires the injection of large amounts of energy while empirical evidence from both developing and developed economies shows a close correlation between the rates of economic growth and energy demand.

 

 

Indeed, Ghana’s energy sector has been one of the remarkable movers or drivers of the country’s economy, particularly for an economy which is deemed to have attained a lower middle income status.

 

Yet the chunk of the country’s power supply is still hydro-based, supported by natural tendencies of rainfall pattern.

 

Indeed, a 1997/8 power crunch had prompted government, according to the Energy Commission (EC), to seek assistance from the United States of America (USA) regarding an objective analysis on the country's energy sector and its related problems.

 

A report on the study, "An Energy Road Map for Ghana" revealed a lack of comprehensive policy direction for the sector, thus reinvigorated government's attempt to carve a policy framework.

 

Subsequently, and upon a request from the Ghanaian Government in 1998, the Danish Government agreed to support the development of a Strategic National Energy Plan for Ghana (SNEP).

 

Available information indicates that the work took off in 2000 and the Danish support ended in April 2003 while the SNEP policy was expected to span between 2006 and 2020.

 

The EC's 2001 report had predicted a power crisis between 2006 and 2007, which came to pass.

 

The reports indicate that Ghana's energy sector needs to increase from 6,900 Gigawatt-hrs to 24,000 Gigawatt-hrs by 2020, about 200 per cent increase in the current installed electricity generating capacity of the country, if Ghana is to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

 

With an expanding economy and a growing population, ultimately giving rise to her aggregate energy demand, Ghana’s energy challenges become significant, requiring governments to build and sustain a resilient power hub to cater for the growing demand.  

 

The writer is an officer of the Information Services Department

 

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