As the government prepares to embark on a Solar Rooftop Programme for all its ministries and agencies, an energy consultant believes this initiative is laudable as it will bode well for Ghana’s renewable energy prospects.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the consultant, Kwabena Nyanteh, however said it is too early to pat government on the back because no concrete plan is as yet being implemented.
“It is too early to say it is game-changing. We want to see the policy implementation and monitor how it is being rolled out before saying it is game-changing. But on the whole, it is a policy directive in the right direction.”
He said it will rapidly increase the amount of electricity coming from renewable energy sources in line with the Renewable Energy Act passed by Parliament in 2012.
The Act is meant to provide for the development, management, utilization, sustainability and adequate supply of renewable energy for generation of heat and power.
The Solar Rooftop Programme is in line with the Ministry of Energy’s goal of increasing the penetration of renewable energy in the energy mix, and the promotion of distributed solar power for government and public buildings.
The project has been dubbed “Government Goes Solar”, to reduce Government’s expenditure on utilities, according to the 2018 Budget statement.
The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, had announced in March 2017 that a solar rooftop Programme by the Energy Commission was to be expanded to cover non-residential facilities including ministries, departments and agencies across the country.
He was speaking at the launch of a Solar PV System on a facility housing the offices of the German Development Cooperation (GTZ) in Accra last Friday.
The 16.64kWp system is one of the first grid-connected PV systems in Ghana with no battery back up under the net metering framework in the country.
Aside from the energy benefits, Mr. Nyanteh said the programme “can easily be used to create thousands of jobs especially for our youth.”
“It needs a lot of manpower in installation and maintenance so you can train people in the installation process and all those things,” he explained.
Mr. Nyanteh further advised the government to carry out an energy audit to ensure efficiency in the execution of the programme.
The audit will give the government “a basis of how much electricity or how much solar power can be used in each of these buildings, and how much will probably be wasted. Then we have to take care of energy efficiency in these buildings before even installing solar,” he said.