Accra, Ghana – The Ghanaian government is making concerted efforts to increase the country’s electricity access rate to 90 percent by 2024, up from the current rate of 88.85 percent, announced Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the energy minister.
According to Ghana News Agency, who spoke at a press briefing in Accra, achieving this target is crucial for enhancing productivity and prosperity across the nation. This initiative aligns with Ghana’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Seven, which focuses on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. The Minister highlighted that Ghana’s annual electricity demand growth of 10 percent necessitates diverse initiatives in the energy mix, including hydro, thermal, and solar, while addressing sector challenges.
In pursuit of this goal, the government has signed two new Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) to augment the country’s power generation capacity by approximately 720 Mega Watts (MW). These agreements include a collaboration with AKSA Energy Company Limited to establish a 370MW thermal plant in Tema and another 350MW thermal plant in Kumasi. These projects are expected to not only stabilize and enhance power reliability in Ghana but also support potential energy exports.
Additionally, Dr. Prempeh mentioned significant solar energy projects underway. These include a 100MW solar Photovoltaic (PV) project under construction at Bui and a recently completed 4MW floating Solar PV on the Bui Reservoir.
The Minister also addressed challenges such as network congestion, aging infrastructure, and encroachments on rights of way, which are being tackled to support the achievement of the 90 percent electricity access rate. “We are improving things to ensure power generated is transmitted efficiently to all parts of the country,” Dr. Prempeh stated.
However, Dr. Prempeh expressed concern over the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG)’s high technical, commercial, and collection losses. As of September 2023, ECG incurred substantial losses in all three categories, leading the Minister to caution the power retailer about the urgency of addressing these issues.
To mitigate these losses, the Ministry of Energy is collaborating with ECG on transformative efforts, such as the digitalization of the company’s processes. This initiative has shown promise, as nearly 70 percent of electricity consumers now pay their bills via the ECG app. The adoption of more modern meters has also resulted in an average monthly revenue of GHS745 million for ECG.
Dr. Prempeh’s announcement comes in the backdrop of the World Bank’s April 2023 Africa Pulse report, which ranked Ghana first in electricity access rate in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report predicts that Ghana, rich in oil resources, could achieve full electricity access by 2030.