22 September 2010 – Vice President John Dramani Mahama has once again stressed the need for more relevant and applied energy research that would make concrete impact on the lives of the citizenry, especially in the area of electric power supply and utilization.
He has, therefore, urged the Energy Commission to allocate more money from the Energy Fund towards applied renewable energy research saying this has become necessary particularly now that the Renewable Energy Bill is about to be considered by Parliament for enactment into law.
Vice President Mahama said this when he launched a book entitled: "Energy – My Vision" in Accra on Monday night.
The contents of the book, compiled by the Energy Centre of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), were presentations representing energy policy options of four political party flagbearers in the 2008 election at a forum dubbed "Flagbearers on Energy" organized by the Centre in Kumasi.
The flagbearers were Professor John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress, who was represented by his running mate at the time, Mr Mahama, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Convention People’s Party and Dr Edward Nasigri Mahama of the People’s National Convention.
The Vice President said government’s vision was to ensure that "our universities and polytechnics build the necessary capacity for the technical capability and management of our indigenous energy resources and conversion systems, so that we can grow to become a model of socio-economic and technological prosperity for Africa".
He expressed the belief that the passage of the local content bill into law would give the needed impetus to such a desire.
"Indeed, KNUST’s Energy Centre and, in particular, the petroleum and petrochemical engineering programmes, will have critical roles to play in ensuring that Ghanaian engineers assume the commanding heights of the up-and-coming petroleum industry."
Vice President Mahama commended the Fellows and Associates of the Energy Centre, KNUST, for organizing the forum and urged them to institutionalize it to become one of the major landmarks of Ghana’s political discourse to consolidate our democratic credentials.
With the exception of Nana Akufo Addo, the two other flagbearers of the 2008 election, Dr Nduom and Dr Mahama, attended the launch and commended The Energy Centre, KNUST, for the compilation of the book.
Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister of Energy, said the government’s vision for the energy sector, as presented at the flagbearers forum in Kumasi, was on course.
Dr Oteng-Adjei, whose speech was read for him by Mr Kwaku Awotwi, Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority, gave the assurance of enough power production, which would ultimately reduce the end-user price.
Prof Abeeku Brew-Hammond, Director of the Energy Centre, KNUST, said he would hold consultations with authorities of KNUST to institutionalize the forum.
He thanked the flagbearers for their contribution and donors for their assistance.