Regional News of Sunday, 13 July 2014
Agyenim Boating, Dean of Graduate School, Ghana Technology University (GTUC) has said the nation could go for solar energy if it musters political will and put in place right research investment and capacity building for local people.
Dr Boateng observed that in the light of the country’s abundance sunshine, it has the potential to develop and use of solar power, saying “government should carefully considered solar power as an alternative sources of energy, particularly for domestic usage”.
He said Ghana’s location within the tropics enable it to receive high levels of direct solar radiation daily all year round, constituting a large untapped energy potential, ideal for solar-thermal, domestic and small industrial applications.
Dr Boating, a solar PV systems’ installation expert made these comments on Thursday in Accra at a two-day workshop for technicians and engineers in the energy sector. He said the sun energy in Ghana could be exploited to produce electricity to ameliorate persistent energy crises facing the nation.
“The production system is simple and its installation is not too difficult, however, the manufacturing and initial costs of solar panels are relatively expensive”, Dr Boateng added. According to him parts of the university college’s buildings have been installed with solar panels to help supplement the national grid.
He urged government to promote an industry-wide shift of investment and production in PV solar projects as well as subsidize importation of solar panels. The university college, Dr. Boateng said is strengthening its relationship with energy service providers, technicians and engineers to develop solar Photovoltaic (PV) system curriculum content for implementation nationwide.
For this reason, the University College is therefore partnering with Trades Works Limited, expert in solar installation in Ghana to engage a cohort of technical personnel in the pilot-test training session. The Volta River Authority, the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Energy Commission and Ghana Electrical Corporation participated in the workshop.
The workshop, among other things, provided a platform to review the curriculum and training apparatus installed by the GTUC as well as providing competency-based skills training in solar PV installation and maintenance for service providers in the energy sector. The Council for Technical and vocational Education and Training under the skills development fund provided the funding for the project to be replicated in the other regions.