General News of Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Source: peacefmonline

Pratt wants to know: Why not produce energy from human excreta

Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., has charged authorities in the energy sector to integrate the production of biogas into generating power for the nation. This he believes could go a long way to alleviate the energy crisis that has since bedeviled the nation.

He explained that the introduction of biogas to serve as supplement to the generation of electricity by the Volta River Authority will help remedy the unremitting blackouts in the country.

According to him, other developed countries run on biogas as a component of energy supply, and therefore wondered why the country has not yet opted for such initiative.

He therefore bemoaned the lack of ingenuity on the part of the energy companies since according to him, it is about time the country generates power via processing of biogas.

“What at all do we need to generate biogas from human excreta?...Biogas, biogas; what at all do we need before we can generate biogas?” he rhetorically questioned.

He also appealed for the establishment of solar panels to complement the energy capacity in the country.

He blurted: “We are here in Ghana. We are living on the equator…we cannot erect solar [panels]. That’s incredible…There is a shortfall, meaning the generation does not cover anything…We are just wasting money.”

The seasoned journalists also lashed out at government agencies and Ministries blaming them partly for the energy crisis in the country. He chided government for not amortizing its debts to the energy suppliers in the country in order to assist them supply enough power to various communities in the country.

Speaking on the issue of the current energy challenges that the nation is grappling with, Kwesi Pratt, who was contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo”, ascribed the electricity fluctuations to the indebtedness of government agencies, Ministries and the energy companies to the ECG.

He disclosed that the Volta Regional Authority (VRA), Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) together with GRIDCO have run into debts; a cause for the dwindling power supply.

He therefore expressed worry saying “Government departments, Ministries and Agencies who draft a budget for all their utilities yearly, are also indebted to the Electricity Company of Ghana to a tune of Gh230 million cedis. GRIDCO owes VRA, ECG is indebted to GRIDCO and so on; so, meaning the money to do major operations is inadequate and the government too is not financing them.”

He however wondered why the nation is still saddled with energy problems and also accuse state authorities for not taking supervisory responsibility over the operations of the energy companies; VRA, ECG and GRIDCO, and so, issue sanctions to them when they fail to supply power to the country.

Meanwhile, the Volta Regional Authority has projected next month to find a lasting solution to the rampant blackouts.

Head of Corporate Affairs of VRA, Sam Fletcher, assured the nation that the Authority is working assiduously to ensure that the thermal plant with an installed capacity of 132 megawatts becomes fully operational by the end of February to ameliorate the enegy situation in the country.