The Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GHACCO) is advocating for the full implementation the bioenergy policy after a research conducted by the group affirmed the benefits of the policy if it is fully rolled out.
In a media interaction, Mohammed Amin Lukumanu, Executive Director of Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstove (GHACCO) explained that the group with funding from BUSAG, DANIDA, USAID and other development partners conducted a research which affirmed government’s position on bioenergy policy, hence the call on government to fully implement it.
“There’s a policy on bioenergy since 2010 and the research conducted last year showed that the basis upon which the policy was developed were still relevant today. The research further confirmed that the policy can help waste management, protect the environment and improve the livelihoods of many citizens,” Mr. Lukumanu noted.
According to him, the policy, if implemented will lead job creation in the economy as well as improve the livelihoods of many local manufacturers; improve waste management through the use of agro waste for charcoal as well as decrease deforestation.
He added that there was a new technology that could convert agro waste into charcoal and therefore prevent harvesting of the forest to produce charcoal.
Mr. Lukumanu further stated that the group was embarking on a sensitization exercise with support from various Municipal and District Assemblies on the need to use cookstove and help save the environment.
The Executive Director noted that they will also engage government as well as the Energy Commission as part of the activities being undertaken to sensitize the population and have the policy fully implemented.
The group also called on government to take another look at the bioenergy policy to address issues of licensing and taxes on imported machinery and technology for renewable energy in Ghana.
According to them, imported complete solar systems are zero rated and are exempted from import duties and taxes. However, Ghana’s Harmonized System (HS) codes on imported goods do not classify solar energy equipment appropriately, and individual imported solar components and products (solar panels, batteries and regulators) are not covered by the zero rating.
Additionally, licensing requirements and processes for renewable energy projects are becoming barriers to the development and disposition of renewable energy in Ghana. Licensing renewable energy projects largely comprises lengthy, complex and cumbersome authorization procedures.
They further noted that with all the institutions involved, and lack of coordination among those institutions, acquiring all the necessary documents could take an exceptionally long time, whilst responsible authorities are not usually required to respond to applications promptly. “Different permits are required from various government institutions, for example Environmental Protection Authority, Town and Country Department etc. besides the Energy Commission”.
These among others, they noted needed government’s attention to address issues of licensing and taxes on imported machinery and technology for renewable energy.