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Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo says government is planning to install 200,000 solar systems to provide power to households, commercial as well as government facilities in urban and selected non-electrified communities.

President Akufo-Addo revealed this while addressing the plenary session of the maiden conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in New Delhi, India.

Ghanaian Times reported that the move forms part of government's commitment to increase the use of renewable energy in the country's power generation mix, while expanding access to electricity across the country.

Akufo-Addo further disclosed that the government intends to provide two million solar lanterns to replace kerosene lanterns currently used by residents in rural and non-electrified communities in the country.

He complained  about Ghana's inability to exploit its solar resources, which could meet its energy demands, despite its unique position on the globe and the abundant sunshine.

"Ghana is located around the Equatorial Sunbelt with many parts of the country enjoying high solar. The country is endowed with abundant solar resources which can be harnessed to increase the contribution of renewable energy in the country's power generation mix,” he said.

"It is unfortunate that despite the abundance of sunshine, Ghana's energy mix comprises 59% fossil, 40% hydro and only 1% solar," he said and expressed the commitment of his administration to invest more in solar energy.

Combating climate change

As co-chair of the Group of Eminent Advocates of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), President Akufo-Addo said Ghana was committed to achieving SDG 13, which urges countries to take urgent action to combat climate change.

He said although Ghana was not a major emitter of greenhouse gas, the country had demonstrated its commitment, under the Paris Agreement, to lower its greenhouse emissions by 15% by 2030.

The President said that government would establish 55 mini-grid electricity systems with an average capacity of 100 kilowatts and added that the systems would be based on solar PV technology.

"A major strategy for achieving this is to build the relevant domestic capacity in the manufacture and assembling of solar energy systems and accessories within Ghana. This will also create job opportunities for our vibrant and hard-working youth," he said.