Government, and the Ministry of Finance must prioritize the renewable energy sub-sector and pump enough funding in it as current investments in the area remain inadequate, Member of Parliament of Ellembelle constituency and a former minister of Energy and Petroleum Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah has urged.
Increasing investments, he noted, will not only boost the sector and economy’s growth, but will also enable government achieve universal access to electricity across the country.
“One of the major concerns in that area, especially in the power sector had to do with the fact that capital expenditure allocations that were made was not forthcoming from the Ministry of Finance. It is advised that the ministry of finance take the ministry of energy and make it a priority because energy is at the heart of this economy.
The area of renewable energy is a problem. We are not investing in renewable energy, and we are not going anywhere with it. We urge the energy ministry and the ministry of finance to support investing in renewable energy, especially capital projects.
We should not leave that at the mercy of donors because if we are going to achieve universal access to electricity, we can only do that if remote off-grid communities that can only be reached with renewable energy, have electricity,” he said.
The MP made the remarks in his submission in Parliament to support the motion for the approval of the energy sector’s 2021 budget.
The House subsequently approved an amount of GHc854 million for the services of the Ministry of Energy for the year ending 31st December, 2021. Out of this amount, the budgetary allocation for renewable energy development is GH¢58 million, representing 6.8 percent of the total allocation for the sector.
According to the report of the Select Committee on Mines and Energy on the 2021 draft annual budget estimates of the sector, renewable energy development projects to be pursued in 2021 include the Addition of 38MW of renewable energy to the national grid to increase penetration by 7 percent, the completion and integration of some solar projects of VRA and Bui Power Authority, and the commencement of procurement for the supply and installation of 55 mini grids.
The budget will also cater for the completion of installation of 912kWp solar project at the Jubilee House by the end of the third quarter of 2021, the distribution of 36,600 solar lanterns in stock, as well as the distribution of 446,000 improved charcoal stoves under the climate change mitigation programme across the country, among other projects.