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Consider revising decision to freeze licenses to new IPPs, IES to government

The Institute of Energy Securities (IES) says a revision of the decision is necessary because it has stalled many renewable power project

The Institute of Energy Securities (IES) has urged the government to consider revising its decision to put a freeze on discussions and issuance of licenses to new Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

“…The government may wish to consider revising its decision to put a freeze on discussions and issuance of licenses for new Independent Power Producers (IPPs), including renewables that are cheaper and more environmentally friendly,” the IES said in a statement. 

The statement signed by Fritz Moses, research analyst at the IES said, “a revision of the decision is necessary because it has stalled many renewable power project, some of which has secured all the technical permits from the relevant government and district agencies.”

Electricity coverage

The Institute for Energy Security (IES) said it has noticed the promise made by President Akufu Addo during his swearing-in to ensure 100% electricity coverage in Ghana by the end of his second term. 

“We believe that the decision is made from the understanding that electricity is critical in the national agenda for inclusive development and growth.

 “Though the IES is pleased with the government’s renewed resolve to act on this mandate, it remains cautious in hope as recent history does not instill confidence. The IES as a result entreats the appropriate authorities to make the necessary investments and regulatory mechanisms to ensure fulfilment of the promise,” the statement added.

National Electrification Scheme

The need for universal electrification led to the adoption of the National Electrification Scheme (NES) in 1985 at what point electricity access stood at 25% within the country.  

The scheme projected for a universal electrification in Ghana by 2020. By 2000, access to electricity had risen to 45% with an annual growth rate of 2%. 

The annual growth rate stood at 2.2% from 2000 to 2010 with national electricity access reaching 67% of the entire country. From 2010 to 2016, Ghana’s electricity access had an annual growth rate of 2.7% extending electricity national access to 83% of the country. 

However, the country from 2016-2020 experienced the lowest growth in electricity access over the last two decades. The annual electricity access growth for the last four years stands roughly at 0.6%, bringing the national electricity access to just above 85%. 

This slow pace of growth from 2017 to 2020 resulted in the extension of the target date for the universal electrification to 2025.

The IES said, with the current target in mind, “the government must work to increase electricity access by at least 3.5% annually from now, up on to 2025. The growth must also be with the renewable energy sources as towns without electricity are in difficult-to-reach areas, mainly lakesides and islands.

“Government must ramp up its renewable energy drive from the current 1% in the national electricity mix to the 10% target from the Renewable Energy Act 2011 if it is certain on this task,” the statement added. 

The IES said “Government, in ensuring access must also ensure the reliability and affordability of the electricity it will be expected to extend across the remainder of the country. These are key elements in reaching many people who are mainly in the rural areas of the country.

The IES said it remains cautious in hope as recent history does not instill confidence. 

“The IES, as a result, entreats the appropriate authorities to make the necessary investments and regulatory mechanisms to ensure a fulfilment of the promise,” it added.

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