USAID

In West Africa, Ben Boakye, deputy chief executive of the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) stated that Ghana’s President John Mahama’s announcement of 800MW added to the national grid to curb power deficits was incorrect.

Boakye said the projects that were implemented to reduce power supply shortages couldn't have injected 800MW to the natinal gird as President Mahama said during the 2016 State of the Nation Address (SONA), but instead claimed that about 580MW had been added.

Boakye was quoted by Business Day Ghana saying “800 megawatts? I didn't get how the computation was done [...] I don't know where the excess is coming from.”

Last week Mahama delivered the SONA, and according to local media he said: “We have achieved the fastest mobilisation of power in the history of Ghana. About 800MW of power have been added to our generation [capacity] within the shortest period of time.

“Finalising and commissioning KTPP 220MW, commissioning TICO combined cycle 110MW, mobilising Karpower 220MW and Ameri 250MW have added extra power to our transmission grid. 180MW of Asogli Phase II is also available as soon as we can get extra gas for it.”

Akosombo Dam posing a negative impact - ACEP

Ben Boakye
Ben Boakye

However, the ACEP executive defended his statement by noting that even though thermal sources have been increasing energy supply, losses from the Akosombo Dam have on the other hand been reducing the total power output.

He further highlighted that since 2014 Akosombo hasn’t been operating at its 600MW full capacity, but that as of 2015 the dam has been operating at a capacity of 300 to 370MW.

Boakye also expressed concerns over a prolonged dry season without rainfall, which he said would have a further negative impact as more turbines would have to be shut down due to low levels of water.

“While you are adding generation from thermal, Akosombo is increasingly not available. If the rains continue to delay, we may have to shut down some turbines,” he stated.