Gov’t Partnering Private Sector For Charging Stations For Electronic Vehicles
– Energy Commission
By Gifty Arthur
Government, through the Energy Commission, is partnering with the private sector to push for a robust charging infrastructure framework for Electronic Vehicles (EVs) nationwide, as Ghana readies to shift from the use of fossil fuels.
Project Coordinator for Drive Electronic Initiative at the Energy Commission, Doris Edem Agbevivi, highlighting the importance of the plan, said the programme, launched in 2019, is already in motion with support from the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA).
“The initiative although started with the Energy Commission, it is such that we are pushing charging infrastructure framework across the country by pushing for public-private partnership. So, we are working with the private sector.
“And from the Energy Commission perspective, we are working with the Standard Authority on charging standard. It’s clearly to show that we have standardization that is going to streamline the market, for the private sector to come in so the standards for the charging stations, they would have to meet those standards to be able to operate here.
“We have regulations that are currently being worked on so that we can have charging for EV charging as well in Ghana,” Ms Agbevivi said.
According to her, “The long and short of all this is when you want the private sector to do something the government has to be able to create a conducive environment that can make them thrive and in doing that, they have to fund themselves.”
Speaking at a live Citi FM/ TV programme, organized in partnership with the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) on energy transition with focus on Ghana’s quest for Net-zero emissions by 2070, Ms. Agbevivi said, ahead of establishing charging stations across the country, some six stations have already been put in place in the Greater Accra Region.
The charging stations, found in the national capital, are located around Kempinski hotel, Madina, 37 station, ANC Mall, North Kaneshie (the only Direct Current charger) and one other.
“Energy Commission has been pushing the charging infrastructure system that we have in Ghana. So far clearly, we have six charging stations.
“Kempinskin, ANC Mall, 37 Station, Madina, the only Direct Current (DC) charger that we have in the country is at somewhere in North Kaneshie that is a 60kw battery charger. These are the things we are promoting, so I am trying to say whereas the energy transition framework states that we are going to have about 1.4 million jobs just from the fact that we are going to pushing new technologies in terms of EV charging…… it has already stated,” she said.
She said, contrary to the notion that the rolling out of electronic vehicles in the Ghanaian transport system, may, to some extent, face rejection, many are rather enthused about the initiative.
She said they are ready to learn about the initiative and looking forward to its full implementation. The Project Coordinator said fear that some in the sector are going to lose their jobs as a result of the implementation of the initiative, is also not true, as vulcanizers and the likes are still going to remain in business.
The Yale Climate Fellow said what is important is awareness creation and education which are being intensified together the GSA.
The Deputy Director, Nuclear & Alternate Energy at the Ministry of Energy, explaining further, said the plan now is to upgrade the transmission line and the distribution line for EV charging stations.
Robert Sogbadji said discussions are ongoing with the Energy Commission, the Public Utility Regulation Commission (PURC), the Transport Ministry and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to raise funds for feasibility studies.
“This discussion is going to try to get funds for some feasibility studies to be able to strengthen some notes, for the expansion of EV charging stations and get to the generation sources,” he said.
On his part, the Chemical Engineer and Managing Consultant for Blue Alliance, Michael Ampeh Boateng, called for a fund to be set up for factories to access to reduce emissions and also become competitive, at a low interest rate.
He said the changes required for net-zero emission for the long-term migration to energy transition plan should not be left solely on the already overburdened private sector alone.
“What I will like to propose is that, is it possible to have a fund that if Bernard has a factory, Bernard doesn’t take the money he is operating the factory with to make those changes and a fund that we don’t also access at the interest rate that we do in Ghana 35, 30, 40, that is a bit difficult for factories and interest rate of maybe 10 percent,” he advocated.
Mr. Boateng, who is also the consultant for Energy Service Centre of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), further pleaded that industries are not overburdened with taxes as that will make them uncompetitive.
Senior Programme Officer for Africa at the Natural Resource Governance Institute, (NRGI) Denis Gyeyir, said while Ghana focuses on its natural resources like gas, it must not lose focus on what the world is doing.
“We live in a global world setting where things are moving, different parts are moving at the same time and so our caution from the Risk Desk at NRGI is that, an over focus or reliance on fossil fuels and it extraction, can leave us lobbying with funds that could have been efficiently used to generate sustainable sources of power for us,” he said.
Director, Society of Petroleum Engineers Ghana,Riverson Oppong, while emphasing on the importance of the discussion, said there are a lot of issues that need to be tackled in the area of energy security as far as developed and developing countries are concerned.
Mr. Oppong, who is also a senior official at Ghana Gas Company Limited, said issues with energy security in the developed world are not the same as developing countries and so such issues should be tackled differently.
“Energy security in Europe, is between life and death because you can’t imagine dumsor (load shedding) in winter days. Millions of people will die if there is dumsor that can of dumsor in Ghana back in Europe especially in winter. We are not speaking the same language. You cannot go and copy someone’s policy and come and apply in your setting, that will not work,” he explained.
While acknowledging the fact that Ghana’s energy mix is going to change with time, he argued forcefully that gas is going to play important role regardless.
He said energy security issues need to be handled with tact and intelligence especially when funds promised by the West appear not to be coming anytime soon.
“Gas is still going to remain important. Regardless of this argument. I don’t fancy it when energy security is not addressing three things availability of that energy accessibility of that energy and affordability of that energy.
“You keep on talking about this fund available this fund available which fund have we received in this country yet? And which fund is being transferred to us tomorrow to Ghana?” he said.
The programme telecast live on Citi Television on Monday December 11, with live studio audience of journalists chosen from different media organizations, was second in the series by organizers. The first was held two weeks ago, where over 50 journalists selected from across the country were trained on energy transition, climate change and reporting.