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Help communities develop renewable energy sources – ISODEC

The Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC) has said for the

country to achieve universal access to electricity, the best route

would be to help rural communities develop renewable energy sources

such as wind and solar.

The Campaign Coordinator of the centre, Dr. Steve Manteaw, made the

suggestion when he spoke on the topic; "Towards energy mix for

national development" at a roundtable discussion at the University of

Cape Coast (UCC).

He called for support for urban households who would want to install

solar and added, "developing renewable energy sources is a good way to

develop the country's economy."

The roundtable discussion dubbed "Energy Transformation for National

Development" was jointly organised by the Institute for Oil and Gas

Studies (IOGS) and the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) of the

UCC.

Dr. Manteaw said the country's National Energy Policy (2010) which

covered renewable energy, promoted the development of solar and wind

facilities and other off-grid technologies, but this had not been

intergraded into the energy generation mix.

He proposed the adoption of a renewable energy law in tandem with the

new petroleum exploration and production bill especially when the

energy policy mentions that the country was well endowed with

hydrocarbons and was exploring options to develop nuclear energy.

Dr Manteaw said without a good renewable energy law, it was more

likely that traditional sources of "dirty energy" would be developed

instead.

He described as "short-sighted" the goal to develop thermal plants

hydropower facilities, transmission infrastructure, natural gas, coal

and nuclear to reach 5,0000MW installed capacity.

"Any investment in developing these resources should be weighed

against investing in renewable resources that carry no fuel cost once

they are established", he said.

Dr. Manteaw said the coal-fired plant project was ill-conceived,

especially at a time when the world was looking for ways to reduce

greenhouse gas emissions and that the preposition, amounted to

climate-change insensitivity and will be environmentally suicidal.

He said the project also defied a basic economic principle that

suggested that energy plants should be situated close to the source of

fuel since in the case of Ghana, the coal would be imported from

countries as far as South Africa, Mozambique, Brazil and beyond.

"Add the environmental cost and the project is thrown into realms of

absurdity," Dr Manteaw said.

Dr. Joe Asamoah, Executive Director, EnerWise Africa, enumerated

conventional and non-conventional sources of energy and said even

though solar was relatively expensive its maintenance was not.

He stated that solar panels, when overused became foul and stressed

the need to conserve energy wisely as interventions were explored to

find short and long-term solutions to the current energy crisis.

Prof. Emmanuel Gyimah, Head of Education Department of the College of

Distance Education, UCC, spoke about the energy crisis and appealed to

the academia not to let research by students gather dust on shelves

but use them to mitigate the situation.

Source: GNA

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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