Ghana might lose opportunities presented by her new potential as a major gas producing country in the West-African Sub-Region if she failed to resolve the current power challenges, Mr Goosie Tannoh, an Energy Consultant said in Accra on Tuesday.
Addressing a dialogue session at the Third Ghana Policy Fair, Mr Tannoh said Ghana’s current status as an important oil producing country presented her with a major growth of the industrial sector to ensure employment and general economic growth.
However, the numerous challenges of the energy sector, in terms of ensuring sustainable power supply to boost the performances in the industrial sector, had accounted for their poor performances.
Mr Tannoh, contributing on the topic “Meeting Ghana’s Energy Needs-Current Status and Preparations for the Future” said Ghana had come a long way in terms of sustaining her energy supply needed to major industries such as Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO) and other manufacturing sectors.
He said Ghana’s current status as an oil producing country was bound to attract major heavy duty industries, such as steel and fabrication, which would need substantial energy supplies to boost their productions.
“We cannot afford as a nation to allow such an opportunity to just lip by, while we keep on making excuses for our inactions as a nation,” he said.
Mr Tannoh suggested realistic pricing for Ghana’s electricity consumption, saying the prices of electricity must be economic enough to ensure efficient, sustenance and quality of service delivery by both the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana.
He called for the strengthening of the energy sector reforms to ensure institutional reforms for accelerated performances in the sector for national development.
Mr Tannoh suggested that to achieve the desired results, the issue of energy must be devoid of partisan politics in order for the country to make the required headway of becoming a third world developed country.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Deputy Minister of Energy, said a grand total of investment required for Ghana’s energy sector was estimated at about $13.2 billion.
He said these investments were needed in two key areas of the energy sector that is the oil and gas industry, as well as the power sub-sector to ensure efficiency.
Alhaji Fuseini indicated that the country’s vision for the energy sector was to develop a dynamic energy economy that would secure reliable supply of high quality energy services for all sectors of the Ghanaian economy and become a major exporter of oil by 2012 and power by 2015.
He said the oil and gas sector alone required a total of nine billion dollars and the power sector needed 4.2 billion dollars.
Alhaji Fuseini however, indicated that government was exploring alternative sources of energy, such as solar and thermal to boost its hydro-power supply, adding that, such sources of energy were expensive.
He called for stakeholders support and private partnership in solving Ghana’s energy problems.