Editorial : Renewable energy uptake threatens viability of ECG?

Solar Energy

Director of Renewable and Nuclear Energy, Wisdom Ahiataku-Togobo, believes the boom in solar and other renewable energy usage could threaten the viability of the nation’s power distributor.

“These companies have battery storage, they generate their own power and store as well as batteries that takes care of their voltage ability and therefore use their own power”, he notes. The development “is making ECG non profitable and that is the biggest challenge that we have”.

His fear is that ECG may not get enough money to take care of the generation and operational cost and that means the residential consumers may have their power cost increased, and that would not augur well for all of us.

For example, Parliament and the entire Jubilee House — the seat of government — are expected to be powered with solar energy if arrangements go according to plan.

Already, the iconic CalBank Tower is a green building and depends mainly on renewable solar power generated in-house and complemented by the national grid, management of Stanbic Bank Ghana and its partners have installed solar power systems at three of its branches, lowering their carbon emissions and making the bank more environmentally friendly, Special Ice has also Commissioned a 1000kw Solar Power Project to support its operations.

These examples prove the fact that, various sectors of the economy are growing their interest in getting off the national grid onto solar, a move that makes players in the solar installation business excited as it indicates a productive, sustainable and green future.

Players in the renewable energy sector believe the Energy Ministry official’s fears are misplaced because the world is moving towards renewable energy therefore, government should instead invest in the ability of state institutions to build their renewable energy production capacity.

Gradually, we are entering a phase in life where when we seek funding from our development partners for projects, they would insist that the projects be powered by renewable energy for long-term sustainability.

Europe, America, and Asia are now looking to clean energy with China reducing its reliance on coal because of its effect on the environment. Everyone is going clean energy and they won’t give you funding and support you to continue polluting the environment,” according to Energy Expert, Steven Essel.

As renewable energy provides power, government can serve as an off taker and purchase the power piped through the national grid, sell it at little margin and settle power provider only if some effort is put into fashioning a framework.

Hence, the fears expressed by the Ministry may hold some ground but is not compelling enough to halt its immediate uptake. We need to be abreast with the times and the world is moving towards clean energy sources.

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