The People's National Convention (PNC) says its priority in the energy sector would be the promotion and development of renewable energy sources, particularly solar energy in the country.
Dr Edward Nasigri Mahama, flag bearer of the PNC, said this at the first in the series of special seminars on energy for presidential flag bearers in Kumasi on Friday.
He said a PNC government would provide a legislation to improve incentives for all investments in renewable energy technologies.
Dr Mahama pointed out that the absence of a clear government policy on renewable energy was hampering its development.
He said renewable energy; particularly solar energy would be greatly encouraged by the PNC government to provide power to health centres, schools and other facilities to enhance the living standards of rural communities to attract health and other professionals to the districts.
The seminar dubbed “Flag bearer on energy” is an initiative of the Energy Centre and Lecture Committee of KNUST, aimed at offering opportunities for future political leadership in the country to lay out their vision for a crisis-free energy sector in the march towards a middle income status.
Speaking on the topic “Energy - My Vision”, Dr Mahama, pointed out that, the country's focus should be on research and development of renewable energy sources.
“Our focus should be on scientific development, where funding for planning, research and development and the appropriate equipment to help find and develop renewable sources for electricity and fuel, would be given a great boost”, he stressed.
He said a PNC government would set up budgetary allocations for research and development in the universities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and other scientific institutions to create a “think tank” to advice government on renewable technologies and other options.
Dr Mahama identified some problems in the energy sector as inadequate generation capacity, bottlenecks in the supply system, weak self-financing capacity and end user inefficiencies.
On the petroleum sector, Dr Mahama said inadequate refining capacity, bottlenecks in bulk supply and distribution, impact of high crude oil prices on national economy, were some of the challenges in the sector.
He noted that unfavourable fiscal and pricing policy, high initial cost of renewable technologies, absence of a clear regulatory framework and inadequate financing infrastructure were some of the challenges facing the renewable energy sector.
Dr Mahama said the PNC's vision was to ensure that electricity reached the heart of the most isolated communities and this would call for renewable resources, which would not require transmission lines.
He said in order to achieve a rise in industrial output and give access to the remotest community in Ghana, electrical generation by the private sector would be given greater incentive, especially those that would be located in the central and northern parts of the country.
He stressed the need for a second refinery to be located in the northern sector to improve distribution in the north and middle parts of Ghana and also create the opportunity to export refined fuels to the Sahel areas.
Professor Kwasi Kwarfo Adarkwa, Vice Chancellor of KNUST, said the objective of the seminar was to provide a platform for each of the presidential flag bearers to present their ideas for energy sector development, create a forum for lecturers, students and the general public.
This he said would enable them to gain an insight into the plans of presidential flag bearers to establish favourable energy frameworks and document their views on energy for easy reference in Ghana, Africa and the world.