Monday, February 19, 2024

Govt committed to increasing renewable energy to address climate change – Vice President Bawumia

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says the government is committed to increasing renewable energy in the national energy mix to address climate change concerns in the country.

“We shall increase the share of modern renewable energy (wind, solar, Waste to Energy, Small/Medium hydropower, hydrogen, etc.) in the national energy mix.”

“Government shall also take steps to promote clean energy sources including biofuels, compressed natural gas (CNG), electric, hydrogen fuels, etc. as fuels for vehicles and provide low-carbon and highly competitive energy supply to establish Ghana as an energy and e-mobility hub for the West African Sub-Region,” he said.

The Vice President said this at a National Energy Transition Forum organised by the Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the Ministries of Transport, Finance, and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation in Accra.

The event was held on the theme “Moving Ghana towards a Net-Zero Future.”

Vice President Bawumia said the costs associated with the continued use of fossil fuels as a driver of the economy was high and called for comprehensive and viable plans to cater for the transition from fossil fuels to renewable.

The effects of global warming, primarily caused by the emission of greenhouse gases through the use of fossil fuels, were becoming increasingly evident, with the costs to humanity becoming increasingly prohibitive, he observed.

He said it was, therefore, imperative for the country to take actions to slow down climate change and put in place measures to address the costs associated with it as soon as practicable, including costs arising from the transition from the use of fossil fuels to renewable.

“It is estimated that the way in which we produce and use energy accounts for more than 80 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Although we still need the energy to improve our economy, it has become imperative that we reduce emissions from production and the use of energy by replacing high emitting fuels, particularly fossils with sustainable fuels such as renewable.

“We all have to be aware that this transition is going to take place over the next 30 years, but the costs of that transition are being felt today. There is less and less funding available for oil exploration and exploitation, and we are seeing this in an increase in oil prices globally. We in the developing countries are facing these very high costs of petroleum prices and that is resulting in many economic impacts such as inflation, as prices of goods increase in response to the increase in petroleum prices.

“There are many who have said that the petroleum price increase was going to remain at the high levels; we are not going to see any major declines. How do we as developing countries like Ghana adjust to this new reality if it becomes a new normal of high oil prices and its impact on the macro variables in our respective economies? It is very clear that we need a plan,” he said.

To make Ghana’s transition to renewable energy more effective, Vice President Bawumia proposed an ECOWAS-wide approach to address the use of fossil fuel in the sub-region.

“Our sub-region has similar challenges, and as a leader in the provision of energy to our neighbours any transitional strategies adopted by Ghana will have an effect on our sub-regional neighbours.

“I am therefore encouraging the Ministry of Energy to extend these consultations to our regional stakeholders to incorporate the risks and opportunities the transition offers us as a group.

“It is also perhaps important for ECOWAS to begin to consult on the need for a sub-regional energy transition plan based on our individual countries’ plans. As chairman of ECOWAS, President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo will champion this initiative by ensuring that the West African sub-regional area makes the best out of the global energy transition.”

The Minister for Energy, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, said about five other fora would be held across the country to solicit the views of all stakeholders to ensure a nationally-inclusive transition plan.

BY YAW KYEI

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