Energy Specialist recommends medium-size hydro projects
6/26/2012 1:40:51 PM -
Accra, June 26, GNA - An energy specialist has called for a revival of interest in medium-sized hydro prospects on Pra, Tano and Ankobra rivers in the Western Region as part of power sector expansion projects.
Mr Sunil Mathrani, Senior Energy Specialist at the World Bank office in Ghana, was speaking at a three-day Public Lecture organized by Ghana Academy of Arts and Science (GAAS) and Fiedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in Accra.
It was on the theme: 'Energy and Ghana's Development.'
He said growth in domestic energy demand required an additional generation of 200 megawatt per year if Ghana was to avoid power shortages and suggested a buildup of a reserve margin which could raise generation to 300 megawatt per year.
Mr Mathrani said poor management and weak governance in the recent past had resulted in the energy sector becoming a burden rather than a resource to the country.
He said Ghana had a diverse and rich energy resource base with the potential to both provide adequately for its own needs and to become a major energy supplier to the West African sub-region but attention needed to be given to the sector.
Mr Mathrani expressed worry that Ghana's energy sector was fraught with challenges that included the absence of strategic sector planning despite existence of the Energy Commission (EC) as well as lack of skilled and experienced staff at the Ministry of Energy which had made it difficult for the ministry to provide adequate sector leadership.
'It is unclear who is responsible for ensuring that new generation capacity is added in a timely and least-cost way,' he said.
Mr Mathrani said there was absence of strategic sector planning despite existence of EC and expressed worry that para-statal boards lacked in technical and managerial skills and were increasingly politicized.
Mr Mathrani said the Public Utility Regulatory Commission was still professionally weak despite increase in financial autonomy and that tariff setting and regulation was still far from adequate and this increases risk for investors.
Professor FKA Allotey, President of the GAAS, described the African continent as endowed with the largest energy sources on the globe and called for huge investment in the energy sector if countries on the continent were to develop.