Ghana needs an additional supply of 4,000 megawatts of energy within the next four years if the country is to meet its middle-income target by 2015.
In addition, electricity tariffs within the same period must be accessible and affordable throughout the country for both domestic and industrial use.
The Minister of Energy, Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, made this known when he addressed the sixth annual conference of the Society of Volta River Authority Engineers at the Kpong Hydro-electric Dam site at Akuse at the weekend.
The conference, on the theme, “Power supply security for the West African sub-region in the face of dwindling energy sources”, was to identify the challenges in energy production to ensure uninterrupted power supply, not only in Ghana but also the entire West African sub-region, with the view to moving countries in the region into a middle-income status by the 2015 target.
Mr Owusu-Adjapong said although the country had managed to come out of the difficulties of inadequate power supply it faced last year due to natural causes, many communities still could not be connected to the national grid because of a number of reasons.
He, therefore, stressed the need for the country's power generating plants to produce, within the next four years, more electricity, at least 4,000 megawatts, for the communities and also for industrial use.
That, he stated, would make it possible for Ghana to move into a middle-income status.
Mr Owusu-Adjapong also called for the enhancement of technology for energy production to ensure its security in the country.
Regarding regional integration, he said over the past decade energy offered the best mechanism in that respect and that the West African Gas Pipeline and the West African Power Pool Project would together contribute to the development of the economies of the countries concerned.
He, however, stressed the need for the sub-region to be guided by the failure of the CIMAO Project which was undertaken jointly by some countries in the sub-region.
In his welcoming address, the Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, Owura K. Sarfo, said more than 75 per cent of electricity demand was not met in the West African sub-region, although it had extremely low penetration rate.
According to Owura Sarfo, the VRA had taken steps to transform itself into an excellent energy utility provider to meet both domestic requirements and at the same time export to Togo, Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso and other countries in the sub-region.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, Mr Kirk Koffi, chaired the function.
Story by A. Kofoya-Tetteh.