Hold Stakeholders Accountable For Reliable Power Supply -Former GRIDCO Boss

A former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO), Ing Jonathan Amoako-Baah, has tasked Ghanaian media personnel, to hold stakeholders accountable to ensure a reliable power supply in the country.

Ing Amoako-Baah, who acknowledged the huge roles the media play, cited several actions the media could embark upon, to support the path to ensuring reliable and sustainable power supply.

He mentioned in particular activities such as, holding stakeholders accountable, raising public awareness, promoting transparency, public education, facilitating public dialogue, highlighting success stories and best practices among others.

In his keynote titled, “Ensure a reliable electricity supply and sustainable energy sector in Ghana through effective management of energy sector debt said addressing energy debt”, Ing Amoako-Baah said it will require a multifaceted approach that combines financial, managerial, and policy reforms to settle these decades old debts from the power sector, hence the involvement of the media.

The former CEO of GRIDCO, said this in Accra during a training session organised by Energy News Africa, to train journalists on the operations of the key players in the energy sector value chain.

The training programme second of its kind this year, brought together, key energy sector players, including the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the West Africa Power Company (WAPCo) and the Public Utilities and Regulation Company (PURC).

It was to deepen the relationship between the media and the sector and also delve into their operations. Taking turns to do presentations on their operations, challenges and future plans, the aforementioned institutions, explained to journalists their operations to keep the power sector running.

Solution To Energy Sector Debts

The former GRIDCo boss, also suggested that diversifying Ghana’s energy sources, is one of the panaceas to the country’s energy sector debts.

He said, diversifying Ghana’s energy mix to, include more renewable energy sources than thermal sources, could reduce the cost of power generation, which is one of the major drivers of energy sector debt.

“Diversifying our energy mix to include more renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro can reduce reliance on expensive thermal power and enhance energy security. Investments in renewable energy should be accompanied by incentives and policies that can encourage private sector participation in generating electricity for the country,” he said.

Thermal generation, accounts for the largest share of Ghana’s power generation, representing 66 percent of Ghana’s thermal power generation, which is fuelled largely by natural gas, but occasionally with light crude oil and diesel and 33 percent of hydro.

Facilitators from the various departments and agencies in the energy sector, took turns to educate the journalists on their duties and challenges.

Ing. Baah, said delayed payments from government institutions and the high cost of producing power by the power generator, also worsened the debt situation in the energy sector.

These challenges, he said, could be addressed through the implementation of cost-reflective tariffs that reflected the cost of the power generation and an effective payment schedule with the power generators, although such measures might face political challenges.

According to Edward Bawa, a member of the Energy Committee in parliament, the power sector is currently facing a $1.5 billion debt that the government is unable to pay.

Mr Baah, noted that technical losses through distribution losses by the Electricity Company of Ghana, also occasioned the debt situation in the energy sector.

He said, most of the infrastructure used in the distribution of electricity was old and inefficient, as it was installed as late as the 1960s.

He, however, advised the government to pursue strategic reforms and investments through enhancing and upgrading infrastructure and improving billing and metering systems to address technical and distribution losses.

Mr Baah, also said effective management of the energy sector, required strong government structures.

He emphasised that, the strong government structure, included a transparent regulatory framework and accountability mechanisms.


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