Ghana has inked a renewable energy agreement with the Africa Development Bank worth $69.88 million over the next four years to improve electricity availability. Approximately 6,890 families, 6,001 SMEs, and 6,890 public buildings will be connected to energy as a result of the deal.
The goal of the “Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP)” is to narrow Ghana’s 12.8 per cent electricity gap by boosting access to clean, dependable energy and promoting socioeconomic growth.
It aims at connecting seventy communities in nine Island districts via small grids, as well as five hundred and five communities in eleven districts across the country via standalone solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Again, the project will include the design, engineering, supply, building, installation, testing, and commissioning of small grids and freestanding systems, and also assist about 1,350 schools and 500 health centres.
It is to also help reduce public sector electricity debt as well as bills for SMEs and households while supporting the implementation of environmental, climate and social management plans in the country.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, and Dr Akinwumi Akin Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, signed the protocol agreement at the back of the ongoing 57th Annual Meeting in Accra. Mr Dominique Paravicini, the AfDB’s Governor for Switzerland, also signed the project’s financing agreement.
“The project fully aligns with the Government’s overarching ambition of increasing the contribution of Renewable Energy in the generation mix to 10 per cent by 2030 while achieving our emission reduction targets,” Mr Ofori-Atta, speaking at the signing of the deal said.
The initiative he added “fits neatly into an important global agenda and underscores our country’s commitment to improving the economic and social viability of low-carbon investments. In addition, the country’s goal to develop new energy-efficient markets and avoid a future energy catastrophe by reaching energy sufficiency is supported.”
Mr Ofori-Atta stated that the initiative would give hundreds of people around the country steady and inexpensive electricity, as well as new economic opportunities, particularly for women in rural areas.
“This project will improve access to safe and dependable electricity while also promoting Ghana’s low-carbon socio-economic growth.” It will directly boost Ghana’s efforts to build resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic’s socioeconomic impact,” Dr Adesina said, adding, that the project would help Ghana reach its renewable energy targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and establish a more resilient economy which would be accomplished by providing electricity to healthcare facilities and island settlements, allowing for the refrigeration of vaccines and COVID-19 testing facilities.
The initial component of the SREP would be the development of thirty-eight small grids and standalone solar PV systems for two thousand SMEs, one thousand three hundred and fifty schools, five thousand health centres, and four hundred villages between 2022 and 2025.
The second component, net metering, intends to scale up existing projects to roughly twelve thousand roof-mounted net-metered solar PV systems, reducing public sector debt and expenses for SMEs and consumers.
The fourth component would be the supervision of works, which would include the cost of running the SREP Project Implementation Unit, the Distribution Utility, and implementing environmental, climate, and social management plans.
Mr Paravicini stated that the signing of the deal demonstrated Switzerland’s continued commitment to providing families and companies with reliable and cheap electricity.