The private sector is critical for Ghana’s renewable energy growth

This week, the Volta River Authority has extended an invitation to private sector players to fully come out to assist in developing Ghana’s renewable energy sector.

The call, the Goldstreet Business thinks, is a good one and has come at an opportune time considering the fact that government has, in recent times been extending invitations to private businesses to consider investing in all sectors of the economy.

While the VRA itself has pledged to develop, deliver and operate about 60 percent of the country’s renewable energy portfolio, the state institution will albeit, need the support of other power sector stakeholders, particularly private sector investors, to achieve this target.

Given that the VRA currently has a dependable capacity of 1,995MW, a lot more attention surely must be focused on other sources of energy to augment the current existing capacity which at all cost must be developed to prevent unforeseen occurrences going into the future.

The urge to develop the country’s renewable energy sources as part of the VRA’s  energy portfolio will therefore need to be supported by the private sector which the authority itself as identified as key to achieving a 100 percent renewable energy mix for Ghana.

It is therefore heartwarming to know that the state electricity generator and supplier is poised to take up the bigger chunk of renewable energy capacity  of up to 60 percent.

The remaining 40 percent the VRA hopes, would be considered by private investors as viable for investment.

There is plenty of scope for such investment; currently, renewable green energy accounts for barely one percent of Ghana’s total power generation.

Commencement of development works on the country’s first utility scale solar power plant in Navrongo which has improved power supply in that part of the country, has provided  sufficient operational knowledge to the authority as it hopes to build on that acumen to impact on other sectors including wind energy. It is encouraging that the VRA itself has recognized how these can further develop capacity of staff to be able to have additional expertise to venture into other energy areas of need.

With all these achievements and efforts by the VRA, the private sector has no excuse to fail in complementing government’s efforts at making renewable energy a significant integral part of the national energy mix.

The construction of a 17MW solar plant in Lawra and Kaleo in the Upper West Region and the announcement of the impending development of the 150MW wind power projects located in the Keta and Ada Municipalities in the short to medium term also shows how the VRA is determined to present a holistic power sector for Ghana.

These projects will definitely be the foundational blocks of the authority’s strategy to do more, considering the fact that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) still control 57 percent of power to the national grid, constituting 2,598MW.