The government of Ghana must make it a priority to empower individuals and companies to veer into solar energy for their day-to-day activities in order to reduce the pressure on the national grid, Michele Velenderic, a German Renewable Energy Expert, has suggested.
Even though he recognizes that Ghana at the moment has no problem with generational capacity, he said the demand is increasing on a daily basis which will mean that pressure will be piled up on the national grid.
“Demand will be rising and there will be the need for more capacity,” he said while contributing to a discussion on how the government can resolve the issues of intermittent power supply to some parts of the country, on the Sunrise Show on 3FM Thursday April 15.
Mr Velenderic further explained that solar energy is a great thing and extremely cheap “if you use it directly to power appliances, if you don’t store it.”
Germany that does not have the amount of sunshine like Ghana does, he explained, has been able to take advantage of solar energy and now has 50GW installation, thereby easing the pressure on their national grid.
Apart from helping resolve the energy situation in the country, renewable energy, he said, also has the propensity of creating more jobs for the people of this country.
“Put up the framework to empower individuals or companies to install the power system and to integrate into the existing grid to boost installations to alleviate the pressure on the national grid,” he told host of the programme Alfred Ocansey.
“The framework for integration of decentralized energy sources is not there yet. So now complete development is expected to come from one central source which is ECG. They are facing big problems because first you have to maintain what is there, secondly, the demand is rising a lot.
“So it is very hard for these institutions to follow up with this demand. So, one way of enabling more development in the field will be to create the framework for enabling decentralized smaller productions to be integrated into the electricity grid.”
“To put it very simple, decentralize production system. So every home could have solar panels. One of the issues now is you cannot really integrate this small production sites in the utility grid. The problem we have with renewable is the high volatility. The sun is there and is gone but your demand is there constantly. So you must store energy. Storage of course is expensive but if you can rely on the grid for some time to solar energy and then take it on a later time from the grid. This will make the whole problem much easier to handle.”
The Executive Director of the African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) Mr Ben Boakye noted that high demand is gradually putting undue pressure on Ghana’s infrastructure.
“Demand is growing, so if you put a transformer in my area and everyday many people move in adding a lot of appliance it gets to a point where the infrastructure becomes over stretched,” he said in an earlier interview with 3FM.
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