President Mahama inaugurates solar power plant
President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday said government had provided provisional licenses for nine organisations to invest in energy generation.
He said demand for energy had reached a point that the private sector would have to complement the efforts of government.
President Mahama made this known during the inauguration of a two- million- dollar two megawatt-solar power plant at Navrongo in the Upper East Region.
The solar power would be expanded to 2.5 megawatts to become the largest in Africa apart from Cape Verde.
Speaking on the theme: “Building a sustainable power; the role of renewable energy sources,” President Mahama warned against illegal power connection.
He advised Ghanaians to be watchful to bring people engaged in the practice to book to accelerate energy extension to communities that are yet to be connected.
President Mahama said the inauguration of the first ever solar plant marked the beginning of a new era.
He said while government is doing everything possible to reverse the current national electricity load-shedding problem, consumers should learn to conserve energy and to pay realistic cost that would empower the Volta River Authority (VRA) and Electricity Company of Ghana to produce and generate more power.
Government, he said had distributed more than 10,000 solar lamps to communities that are not connected to the national grid, while more communities would be supplied with the facility to avoid the use of kerosene in the country.
Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy and Petroleum said his outfit had stepped up feasibility studies to provide renewable energy throughout the country to meet the energy needs.
“Our vision to generate 5000 megawatts of electricity by 2016 is on course and the only way to achieve that is to diversify into wind and solar that are less expensive and more reliable in terms of domestic and industrial consumption,” he said.
Mr Buah said government would step up the generation of solar energy and extend it to basic and tertiary institutions to power their Information and Communication Technology programmes.
The solar power project, is in line with the VRA plans to focus on national policy on renewable energy of wind and solar as the most environmentally friendly methods of electricity generation.
It was initiated in 2010 and aimed at developing 160 megawatts of installed renewable energy capacity over a period of five years.
It was executed at a cost of eight million dollars and financed by the VRA to improve energy security and diversification.
Apart from providing alternative electricity production, the project would also create jobs in the community and serve as a tourist attraction as it is the first in the country.