Different power sources not priority now…energy expert

Mr. Quayson (first from right)

An Industrial and Energy Consultant at the Energy Foundation of Ghana, Mr. Andrew Quayson says providing varied sources of electricity for consumers should not be a national priority.

He was of the view that the nation must first ensure that the power system becomes efficient by putting in place measures to reduce the cost of generating power.

He made this statement in reaction to the Energy Commissions pronouncement earlier this week that electricity consumers would have access to varied sources of power service delivery by 2030.

Expensive cost of power generation

Addressing the media at the end of the dialogue session on Ghana’s Energy Sector Reforms in Accra on Thursday, Mr. Quayson said once the nation sorts out the cost of generating power, the cost of buying electricity could be reduced to at least 25 per cent for consumers.

He has therefore advocated that residential electricity consumers are made to pay more than they are charged now to enable industry stay competitive and generate jobs.

Residential consumers must pay more

Mr. Quayson said it was not fair for residential consumers to pay about 70 per cent less for electricity while industry pays about 150 per cent more for the same power.

He said that Ghanaian industries cannot create jobs if they have to compete with their counterparts in other countries where residential consumption is not subsidized

“We in industry have been complaining bitterly that we have to compete with imports from outside and our cost of electricity for industry is too high because we are subsidizing the residential consumers and we cannot create jobs if we are subsidizing them,” he criticized.

Industry must pay less in order to create jobs

He said industry taps electricity at a high voltage with   minimums losses while residential uses more expensive and higher voltage adding “unfortunately, in Ghana industry has been subsidizing residential for the past 40 years”.

Ghana has done relatively well in implementing the power sector reform, in 1997, only 35 per cent of the entire population had access to electricity and has translated to 85 per cent over a period of 20 years.

The generation, transmission and distribution

Mr. Quayson, said Ghana as a country needs to target a combine cycle power generation to make use of more gas and little crude oil and make power generation less expensive.

He observed that the distribution of electricity to consumers was confronted with lots of challenges due to low collection of service delivery rates.

Currently over 81.4 per cent households and 84 per cent communities in Ghana have access to electricity.

By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey