President of the Renewable Energy Association of Ghana (REAG), Mr Jens Blicher Schmidt, has charged the government to operationalise the renewable energy fund to facilitate the adoption of clean energy solutions in the country.
According to him, clean energy sources such as solar, biomass and wind are fast becoming the centre of attraction across the world in delivering sustainable energy supply as they are more efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective in the long run.
“The functioning renewable energy fund is important for the country to scale up the share of energy that comes from renewable sources,” Mr Schmidt told the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a workshop last Wednesday in Accra.
The workshop was aimed at assisting stakeholders in the agricultural and energy sector to be acquainted with the enormous benefits of solar water pumps.
The REAG president indicated that having a renewable energy fund could help boost investments in power generation and go a long way to attract businesses to the country because of reliable energy.
He said notwithstanding the immense benefits of renewable energy, there was a school of thought that it was very expensive to embark on in the short term, but it was cost-effective in the long term.
He added that the ability to raise the needed funds was very critical to the full deployment of renewable energy in the energy mix.
Renewable Energy Act 2011
To ensure the full utilisation of renewable energy, Ghana passed the Renewable Energy Act 2011 to provide for the development, management, utilisation, sustainability and adequate supply of renewable energy for generation of heat and power and related matters.
A section of the act also provides for the establishment of the Renewable Energy Fund, which is yet to be operationalised to serve the purpose of providing financial resources for the promotion, development, sustainable management and utilisation of renewable energy sources.
For the purposes of achieving the objective of the fund, money from the fund shall be applied primarily to the provision of financial incentives, feed-in-tariffs, capital subsidies, production-based subsidies and equity participation for grid interactive renewable electricity, mini-grid and off-grid renewable power systems for remote areas and islands and renewable energy projects for non-electricity purposes.
Money from the fund may also be applied for the promotion of scientific, technological and innovative research into renewable energy and the establishment of standards for the utilisation of renewable energy.
One village, one dam
Mr Schmidt, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Deng Danish Engineering, asked the government to leverage solar water pumps to facilitate the ‘one village, one dam’ project in the country.
He said adopting solar water pumps for irrigation purposes would increase agricultural production in the country.