Regional News of Saturday, 14 June 2014
The Volta River Authority (VRA) is recommending that if Ghanaians are made to value electricity as a commodity, the country’s energy problems will reduce considerably.
The Planning and Business Development Manager at the VRA, Kofi Ellis on Citi FM’s The Big Issue on Saturday stressed that although attention is on increasing demand for energy, slowing down demand growth could help manage the energy crisis.
This, he said, could be done through energy conservation which can only be achieved through rigorous public education.
“We should try and get people to value that commodity called electricity and conserve it in a way that will slow down the pace at which we are increasing the gap between demand and supply,” he said.
Power producers and suppliers in Ghana have over the years not been able to meet the growing demand for energy.
The Bui Dam and the Adoadze Thermal Plant have all being temporarily shut down for extensive maintenance activities.
Gas supply from Nigeria has also been inconsistent. These challenges have forced the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) to ration power.
The persistent situation is seriously hurting businesses and industry. Mr. Ellis has indicated it is extremely important for government to heavily invest money in the energy sector.
According to him, the selling price for energy in Ghana ‘is not encouraging people to want to put in more money so government needs to for the sake of management of this country put money into the energy sector.”
Mr. Ellis pointed out that government does not have the power to prevent people from purchasing electrical gadgets and constructing houses to be connected to the national grid which consequently increases electricity demand.
He revealed that “residential load is growing so much but unfortunately, industry is not growing as much…the residential that is paying less is growing, industry is not growing and at the end of the day, the required revenue to run that value chain from production to supply is being stifled.”