The Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, has revealed that the load shedding and blackouts that plagued the country under the administration of former President, John Dramani Maham, was as a result of financial problems.
According to him, Ghanaians should have under no circumstances “slept in darkness for even one day”. He indicated that solution which was proffered by the previous administration rather compounded the country’s financial problem.
“It was a financial issue. The former President himself told the good people of this country that [it was] as a result of some damage to the pipeline that was bringing in gas from Nigeria… That gas [which] was coming was going to fuel existing plants. All those plants had alternative fuel sources and so, to prevent us from sleeping in darkness, we had to procure those alternative fuel sources to power the plants. We didn’t have the money. So, the four years of darkness that you and I slept in, was a financial problem…”Andrew Egyapa Mercer
Mr Egyapa Mercer stated that every country needs energy and considering the data available, it is only in 2019 that Ghanaians begun to consume all the power that was added between 2015 and subsequent years, although government had to pay between 2015 and 2020 for all the power. He explained that some of the generation that had been contracted which the current government put a hold on will begin the process of onboarding soon.
“So, by 2026, when the forecast indicated that we would begin to have shortages if we don’t have additional capacity, then it willl be met. We’re planning into 2030 with our renewable energy about how we scale it up. Only yesterday, my colleague honorable Owireku launched the Ghana scheme renewable energy program… So, those are the things that we as a ministry are doing to ensure that the lights that have been on since 2017 [is maintained] …”Andrew Egyapa Mercer
The deputy energy minister highlighted that government has over the years implemented policies geared towards the improvement of electricity generation in the country for both households and businesses. He underscored that the achievements of government cannot be overemphasized in the energy sector.
“By and large, everybody will attest that the energy sector has been robust. We’ve significantly delivered on our mandate to the good people of Ghana and my expectation is that in the coming year, we will do more to ensure that at all times, there’s stability of electricity generation and distribution for Ghanaian households and businesses.”Andrew Egyapa Mercer
Commenting on government’s position on solar energy, Mr Mercer stated that it is scaling up renewable energy, which is largely driven by solar. He indicated that already, Bui has built 50 megawatts of solar on its reservoir and they’re looking to scale it up to 250 megawatts.
“VRA is working to add some solar to their generation mix at Akosombo. So, that is a huge component of what it is we are rolling out. One, to meet our Paris agreement and also to meet our energy transition goals that we have set. Only last month, His Excellency the President at COP27, launched our energy transition framework as a country…”Andrew Egyapa Mercer