Bawumia promises 2,000MW of solar power within four years

Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has unveiled an ambitious plan to introduce 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power within the first four years of his administration. This initiative, which represents nearly half of the current electricity consumption, aims to alleviate the financial burden on businesses grappling with high energy tariffs.

During a meeting with members of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) in Accra, Vice-President Bawumia, who also serves as the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), emphasized the pivotal role of solar energy in reducing expenses and fostering economic growth.

“With this initiative, we aim to significantly reduce the escalating costs of power, particularly for our businesses, thereby enhancing their competitiveness in response to pleas from traders for his administration to address the cost of power,” Dr. Bawumia stated.

This plan not only addresses immediate business concerns but also aligns with broader objectives of transitioning from fossil fuels to sustainable energy solutions. It is in line with Ghana’s 2070 ambition to achieve net zero emissions under the National Energy Transition Framework (NETF), which includes transitioning thermal plants to natural gas and integrating nuclear power into the energy mix.

Dr. Robert Sogbadji, deputy director of power (Nuclear and Alternative Energy) and coordinator of the Energy Transition Committee at the Ministry of Energy, revealed that renewable energy currently accounts for 33 percent of Ghana’s energy mix, including large hydropower sources. However, modern renewables such as solar and wind constitute only 3.1 percent, with a target of reaching 10 percent installed capacity by 2030.

Acknowledging Ghana’s high power costs compared to neighboring countries and globally, Vice-President Bawumia reiterated his commitment to implementing the solar initiative to ultimately lower electricity expenses.

Furthermore, as part of efforts to streamline government operations and reduce public expenditure, plans are underway to transfer certain government functions to the private sector. This move aims to curtail government borrowing, subsequently reducing interest rates and associated economic burdens.

In addition to energy reforms, Vice-President Bawumia outlined plans to overhaul the country’s ports, addressing concerns raised by traders regarding high import duties and escalating market prices. By benchmarking import duties against neighboring countries like Togo, the government aims to discourage the use of alternative ports for imports and smuggling activities.

Joseph Obeng, president of GUTA, voiced concerns about the historical imposition of political manifestoes without genuine consideration for citizen input. He urged political parties to engage actively with citizens, incorporating their concerns and aspirations into policy frameworks to enhance democracy, transparency, and accountability.

He commended the NPP for soliciting input from GUTA and its members in shaping the party’s manifesto for the upcoming elections. Members of GUTA also engaged with the Vice President on various policy proposals aimed at addressing challenges faced by traders and the broader Ghanaian population.

“By doing so, we can promote greater accountability, transparency and inclusivity in our democracy, ensuring that the voices of the people are heard and respected,” he said.

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