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Business News of Thursday, 24 February 2022


Collective approach needed to realise energy transition targets – Bawumia

Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

To make Ghana’s transition even more effective, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has proposed an ECOWAS-wide consultation and planning, given the country’s leading role in the provision of electricity and similarity in dynamics of the sub-region.

“Our sub-region has similar challenges and as a leader in the provision of energy, any transition strategies adopted by Ghana will have an effect on our sub-regional neighbours,” Dr. Bawumia said.

Against this background, he entreated the Ministry of Energy to extend these consultations to regional stakeholders to incorporate the risks and opportunities the transition offers us as a group.

“It is also perhaps important for ECOWAS to begin consulting on the need for a sub-regional energy transition plan based on our individual countries’ plans. As chairman of ECOWAS, President Nana Akufo-Addo will champion this initiative of ensuring that the West African sub-regional area makes the best of the global energy transition.”

The Vice President, who was speaking at the ‘Regional Stakeholder Forum on the National Energy Transition Plan’ launch, also recognised that the costs associated with continued use of fossil fuels as a driver of the economy are now high.

He insisted that they could go higher, and it is important that Ghana, as well as its neighbours and the rest of the developing world, urgently put in place comprehensive, viable plans to cater for the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

The effects of global warming, primarily caused by the emission of greenhouse gases through the use of fossil fuels, are becoming increasingly evident – with the cost to humanity becoming increasingly prohibitive, he underscored.

It is therefore imperative, he maintained, to take actions to slow down climate change and put in place measures to address the costs associated with it as soon as practicable including costs arising in the transition from the use of fossil fuels to renewables.

“It is estimated that how we produce and use energy accounts for more than 80 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions.

“Although we still need the energy to improve our economy, it has become imperative that we reduce emissions from production and use of energy by replacing high-emitting fuels, particularly fossils, with sustainable fuels such as renewables,” he added.

While it is recognised that the energy transition may take some time to be fully realised, the cost of that transition is being felt today.

“We in the developing countries are facing this very high cost of petroleum prices, and that is resulting in many economic impacts such as inflation – since the prices of goods increase in response to the increment in petroleum prices,” Dr. Bawumia stated.

He said Ghana must seek to increase its natural gas-based electricity generation while explaining that the country will harness the use of its gas resources by expanding gas pipelines to key demand centres across the country and increasing access to LPG for cooking in households.

“We will increase the share of modern renewable energy – wind, solar, waste to energy, small/medium hydropower and hydrogen, among others – in the national energy mix.

“Government will also take steps to promote clean energy sources including biofuels, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), electric, hydrogen fuels among others, as fuels for vehicles; and provide low-carbon and highly competitive energy supply to establish Ghana as an energy and e-mobility hub for the West African sub-region.”

The Minister for Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, disclosed that five other fora will be held across the country to solicit the views of all stakeholders to ensure a nationally-inclusive transition plan.

The National Energy Transition Forum was organised by the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the Ministries of Transport, Finance; and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation in Accra.

It was held under the theme ‘Moving Ghana toward a Net-Zero Future’.

It is expected that the stakeholder forum will be organised across the country to solicit inputs for developing a national energy transition plan.

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