Minister designate for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor has called for investment in other sources of power generation such as coal and renewable energy to help meet the rising demand of energy in the country.
Dr. Donkor stated that the future of Ghana’s energy was no longer dependent on hydro due to weather patterns that have seen fall in the water levels at Akosombo at certain times and thus advised that “we need to plan to avoid such patterns.”
Responding to questions during his vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Monday, the Minister Designate, who is also the Member of Parliament for Pru East, further noted that the country had under invested in the energy sector over the years which have resulted in the current challenges.
He, therefore, noted that “we have to attract the right investment because the public sector alone cannot do it” and also “look for renewal and coal energy if we need to improve our system.”
Responding to questions on why Independent Power Producers (IPPs) sought for government securities, the MP stated that power off-takers like Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Volta River Authority (VRA) have weak balance sheets; hence, the IPPs would seek for security from the shareholders of the company which is Government of Ghana.
He noted that, that could only be stopped when ECG and VRA have strong balance sheet to stand on their own to purchase power.
The Mines and Energy Committee Chairman also noted that he would engage the Public Utility Regulatory Commission to have indicator tariffs for investors to know the prevailing tariffs before investing with the right equipment.
According to him, if the country could have about 2000MW of power supply, the power outages could reduce drastically.
On transmission losses, he stated that transmission and distribution losses were very high as well as technical losses and thus noted that he would work with the various agencies to intensify loss control programs. Dr. Donkor further stated that ECG must be restructured to be of best shape and meet current demands.
On debt recoveries, Dr. Donkor noted that the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as government bungalows should pay their bills to avoid accumulated debt and later ask the finance ministry to pay.
He further noted that partisan politics must be left out of energy issues and build consensus as political parties since power outages affect everybody irrespective of political affiliation.
President John Mahama created the new Power Ministry a few weeks ago in the face of daunting challenges in the power sector and mounting criticisms of government’s handling of the crises.
Source: Daily Heritage
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