10 April 2013 – Even though Ghanaians are facing a power crisis, which has resulted in massive load shedding and power disruptions, Ghana’s energy sector is relatively well positioned compared to other African countries in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of electricity access and utilisation, says Kwaku Awotwe, CEO of the Volta River Authority (VRA).
According to Awotwe, as reported by GhanaWeb in spite of the challenges, Ghana’s access to electricity remains one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. On average, access to electricity in Ghana is about 60%. This compares with Nigeria and Kenya’s average of 30%.”
"Believe it or not, on infrastructure, Ghana is twice as good as in most other African countries. So when you compare to a lot of African countries you may or may not be surprised that the 1,020 MW investment in the Akosombo dam that was made in Ghana 50 years ago has set the foundation for a much more developed infrastructure which rates Ghana high in relation to other African countries," Awotwe says.
Citing Nigeria as an example, he says that country’s access to electricity and consumption per person per year is lower than Ghana’s. "In Ghana, we complain when we pay 8 US cents per unit of electricity. Our northern neighbours pay 25 US cents and in the case of Liberia they pay 45 US cents and they would love to get some of Ghana’s power. So if we can get the gas and get the power generated in Ghana and can get transmission lines built across West Africa, that power will not just provide electricity for Ghana but it will provide electricity for the whole sub-region."
As part of measures to boost power supply in the country, Awotwe hints at plans to establish a wind farm that will add between 50 MW to 80 MW of electricity to the national grid. Awotwe says that a 10 MW solar plant is currently under construction at Kaleo and Lawra.
“Africa has huge energy potential but very few African countries are really using wind energy. The three countries that are using wind energy the most are Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, but even these countries have been slow to push for more investments in the wind energy sector.”