The Energy Commission has said the adoption of home-based technology is needed to guarantee attainment of universal access to clean cooking by 2030.
This is against estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that some four million deaths are recorded every year from the toxicity produced by household air pollution as a result of using rudimentary cookstoves and fuels.
To this end, the Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Kofi Agyako, says it is imperative that people move away from the three-stone stove technology (mukyia) that has been used for cooking for centuries.
“The world has moved on and new cooking technologies, such as induction electric cooking, have revolutionised the clean cooking space. Of course, not all of us can afford to switch to these new cooking technologies – and that is why home-grown solutions will be needed for our clean cooking strategies to achieve universal access to clean cooking by 2030,” he stated.
Mr. Agyako was speaking at the Southern Zonal edition of the Energy Commission’s Senior High Schools Renewable Energy Challenge,’ in Kumasi, and was hopeful that students will be encouraged to develop projects in the area of either clean cooking or food processing, based on the use of renewable energy technologies.
The Challenge was born out of the Commission’s mandate under the Renewable Energy Act, 2011 (Act 832), which is to promote the efficient use of electricity and renewable energy resources through public education, training and regulation of entrepreneurs in the sector.
It is also to facilitate the mainstreaming of renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies and programmes into the curriculum of educational and training institutions.
It is as a result of the above mandate that the Energy Commission, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service, seeks to provide education and awareness on renewable energy, clean energy and energy-efficiency among the country’s various second cycle institutions.
The aim of the Challenge, according to the Commission, is to promote creative thinking and provide mentorship to young and brilliant students.
Also, the Challenge is expected to highlight various competitions by students in the second-cycle institutions and provide a platform for the exhibition of their innovative projects.
The theme for this year’s Challenge is ‘Clean Cooking & Food Processing Using Renewable Energy Technologies’.
The Commission’s Executive Director observed that the projects developed can be new product innovations, accessories to existing products or digital innovations to improve the performances or efficiencies of existing projects in the above-mentioned areas.
In all, seven schools featured in the Challenge with their respective energy renewable projects.
At the end of the competition, Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS) – which presented a project on ‘Smart Solar Oven’, emerged the winner; with Yaa Asantewaa Girls’ Senior High School (YAGSS) taking second position. YAGSS presented a project on ‘Heat Energy Storage’.
Kpedze Senior High School, which presented a project on ‘Solar Dehydrator for Preservation’, emerged as second runner-up while the Presbyterian Boys Secondary School (PRESEC) took fourth position.
Director of Science Education Unit at Ghana Education Service (GES), Mrs. Olivia Serwaa Opare, lauded the initiative – noting that it has helped to bring out the students’ creativity.
According to Mrs. Opare, the programme has aided the students to sharpen their ingenuity levels and also realise their core competencies.
According to organisers of the Challenge, winning projects are going to be mentored by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Clean Cooking Alliance in the United States of America (USA).
Also, they indicated that other equally good projects will be developed and improved to become commercially viable.