Ghana intends to share its gas resources with other ECOWAS countries to help address the energy challenge facing the sub-region, President John Dramani Mahama has said.
In a speech read on his behalf at a three-day high level forum in Accra to deliberate on energy efficiency and sustainability in the ECOWAS sub-region, Mr. Mahama assured sub-regional energy ministers that the country will export gas through the West African Gas Pipeline from the first half of next year.
�We will pipe gas from our Jubilee and other oil fields into the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) as early as the first half of next year in order to make it available to member-states of the WAGP project.�
He said Ghana is on course to achieve universal access to electricity and sustainable energy by 2016. This will be done by increasing power generation from the current 2,443 megawatts to around 5,000 megawatts in that time-span.
�A recent national audit on energy has indicated the necessity to consolidate and improve upon the stock of various thermal, hydro and gas-based sources of energy in order to achieve sufficient and sustainable supply as well as cost-effective generation of power in the country,� he said.
The regional energy forum was organised against the backdrop of the newly-adopted United Nation�s goals on universal access to energy services by 2030 -- which seeks to promote universal access to modern energy services, double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and increase the regions� share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
It was jointly hosted by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE); Global Forum for Sustainable Energy (GFSE); and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Energy Foundation-Ghana, under the theme �Paving the Way for Sustainable Energy for All in West Africa through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency�.
The forum facilitated adoption of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) policies by regional energy ministers, as well as the establishment of a regional framework of actions to achieve the set targets.
Mr. Ebrima Njie, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, said the forum provided the platform for delegates to deliberate on ways to address the energy problem facing the sub-region and identify concrete plans of action for making energy-access a reality for people in the region.
He said to enhance the enabling environment for increased access to energy services in the region, ECOWAS has developed two complementary regional policies on renewable energy and its efficiency.
Mr. Njie said the policies demonstrate the sub-region�s strong political will to employ sustainable energy technologies toward the realization of policy objectives, while providing clear regulatory frameworks that promote greater private sector participation and investment.
He said the renewable energy policy that has been adopted will ensure adequate exploitation of the region�s abundant renewable energy sources; such as solar, wind, small-scale hydro and bio-energy for grid electricity supply, as well as provide access to energy services in off-grid rural areas.
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