Ghana to Increase Solar Energy President Akufo-Addo
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Government will develop utility-scale solar energy projects and accelerate the development of mini-grid solutions in off-grid and island communities for lighting, irrigation and other economic activities.


Accordingly, on the basis of Ghana’s specific needs and in keeping with its commitments under the Paris Agreement, a number of solar energy programmes, which include the attainment of utility-scale solar electricity from about 22.5 megawatts to 250 megawatts by 2030, have been outlined.


In addition, 200,000 solar systems for households, commercial and government facilities in urban and selected non-electrified rural communities will be installed and 55 mini-grid electrification systems with an average capacity of 100 kilowatts established.


Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who made these known at the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in New Delhi, India on Sunday, explained that these systems would be based on solar PV technology, which would be hybridized with other generation options to serve islands and off-grid communities.


Additionally, President Akufo-Addo said, the deployment of some two million solar lanterns to replace kerosene lanterns, currently used by the rural non-electrified households in the country, would be continued.


He noted that despite an abundance of sunshine in Ghana, and with many parts of the country enjoying high levels of solar irradiation (5.524 kwh/m2/day) all year round, solar energy only contributed 1% to the energy mix, as opposed to 59% from fossil fuels and 40% from hydro.


The President, therefore, pledged his government's commitment to increasing solar energy to positively alter the country’s energy-mix and building the most business-friendly environment for investment, especially for investment in the renewable energy sector.


He said the major strategic policy to achieve Ghana's set targets was to build the relevant domestic capacity in the manufacture and assembling of solar energy systems and accessories in THE country to help create job opportunities for the vibrant and hardworking youth.


President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana was endowed with great potentials and gave the assurance that with security and the rule of law religiously upheld, and investments secured, Ghana was projected to be the fastest growing economy in the world by the end of 2018.


He said the establishment of ISA, in his view, was appropriate in today’s circumstances. That, he said, was why Ghana did not hesitate in ratifying the framework agreement of the Alliance.


He was confident that together, member countries could ensure the satisfactory performance of the ISA Framework Agreement to make the laudable objectives of the ISA a reality.


President Akufo-Addo attended the ISA Summit at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron.


The Summit, which was attended by 25 Heads of State and Government, provided a dedicated platform for co-operation among solar resource rich countries, aimed at realizing the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting the energy needs of ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)