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"We Need To Plan Strategically To Overcome The Challenges Imposed By The ETA" - Dr. Amin Adam


The Deputy Minister for Energy says Ghana needs to strategically plan in order to overcome the challenges imposed by the energy transition agenda.


According to him, the move will help Ghana to be on the same level with the rest of the world towards cleaner energy.


Speaking at a stakeholder engagement on National Transition Plan by the National Energy Transition Committee, he said "The global advocacy for energy transition and decarbonisation has left many countries especially hydrocarbon dependent countries in limbo. So is our country Ghana and therefore we need to strategically plan to overcome the challenges imposed by the energy transition agenda and to move with the rest of the world towards cleaner energy"


The Deputy Minister added that although Ghana seek to tow that line, it will do so at a pace cognizant of the fact that it is not as resourced as the developed countries.

 

"Ghana is a signatory to the Paris Agreement as well as other international protocols which require us to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2050. This is why it has become imperative for us to plan and strategise to steer our country towards a low carbon economy while ensuring economic growth"

 

Dr. Amin Adam told the gathering that the Ministry of Energy is developing a National Energy Transition Plan to guide the country as it transitions to cleaner energy.


He noted that being a national plan, it is expedient that the views of stakeholders are incorporated to ensure a holistic approach and successful implementation of the plan.


"Public dialogues and stakeholder engagement like this, will enable us garner public support, incorporate local perspectives, and receive innovative ideas to formulate a transition plan that is sustainable, locally appropriate, and feasible to implement"

 

The Deputy Minister added that it is anticipated that fossil fuels particularly natural gas will continue to be part of Ghana’s energy mix.


He revealed that strategies will be put in place to increase the share of renewable energy in the mix in the medium to long term.


Dr. Amin Adam hinted that currently, about 70% of Ghana’s installed power generation capacity of 5,231MW is from thermal plants that use natural gas as their primary fuel.


This proportion is projected to increase to meet the growing energy demand commensurable to the national economic growth, he explained.


"We will however aggressively develop and utilise cleaner energy resources such as solar, wind, hydro and nuclear among others"

 

The Deputy Minister also mentioned that transitioning to cleaner energy over the next few years would require substantial resources adding that the paucity of such resources in this part of the world could notably affect implementation of the transition plan.


"We could therefore leverage on revenues from our indigenous oil and gas resources to develop the renewable or cleaner energy the world advocates for. We acknowledge that gas, to a large extent, is clean and has a huge potential to drive industrialization and still meet the energy transition goals"

 

"Therefore, as part of the plan for Ghana’s transition process, we will continue to explore for and produce oil and gas but in a more environmentally friendly manner. We will enforce the zero flaring policy and institute Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage techniques to ensure that petroleum activities do not adversely impact the environment. Afforestation programmes and carbon credits will also be introduced as measures to avoid further pollution of the environment by oil and gas activities"


"As we commit to continue the production of oil and gas, the reality we are confronted with is the increasingly unavailable funds to invest in these projects, increasing the threat to the exploitation of our resources"


He stressed that whilst Ghana recognizes the need to decarbonize its economy, the cost of stranded assets will be too huge to bear.


"We cannot just abandon our natural resources in the ground, our fuel stations and our combustible engine cars in the short to medium term. Government therefore desires to initiate policies that will attract private capital into our oil and gas industry"


"That an African Energy Bank must be established to continue to fund oil and gas projects to ensure that our natural resources do not become stranded. This is in line with the call for a just, equitable and fair transition"


"The government should establish an Energy Transition Fund to support investments in transition projects"


"Green Banks must be established in our country or existing Banks should use public seed money to leverage private investment for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as energy efficiency retrofits or rooftop solar arrays, etc"


These, he outlined, are measures being considered to address the decline in financing oil and gas projects by public owned financial institutions across the World; and to support the deployment of renewable energy products.


He stressed that it is therefore important that bankers explore these opportunities and contribute to the realization of these financing measures.

 

"We will also work to revitalize the Tema Oil Refinery to meet our domestic demand for fuel products and reduce our dependence on imported products; thereby guaranteeing fuel security in the country"


"We have also established the Ghana Petroleum Hub Corporation to develop the petrochemical industry to produce materials required to manufacture solar panels, wind blades and battery cells. This will contribute to our net zero agenda without compromising the benefits of the petroleum industry"

 

He reminded the banks that as financial institutions, they should be interested in energy transition because it affords huge investment opportunities which they can take advantage of.


"We expect you to mobilize green and transition funds to help businesses change the way they operate. You must assist the country’s transition through your creative financing. Therefore, this forum is not only to apprise you of what government is doing about energy transition but also to let you know there are opportunities you must look out for"  



 On his part, the Deputy Minister for Transport, Frederick Obeng Adom said "We all know what transport does in the energy sector and you will all agree with me that the transport set is very vital to the functioning of our economy and also ensures social protection"


He added that depending on what technology is being adopted, there could be direct and indirect impact on the natural environment.


He revealed that per the data available to the Transport Ministry from DVLA indicates that as 2021, out of the 2.8 million registered vehicles, 72% are powered by petrol, 27% by diesel engines and less than 1% by LPG and other energy sources.


"The results of this high dependency on fossil fuel coupled with a number of factors including the traffic congestion has made the transport sector a net emitter of greenhouse cars"


Hon. Adom noted that achieving a net zero future requires a coordinated approach.


"It also means that we also need to work on the way we use and generate energy to power the various sectors of the economy" he stressed.


"Globally, countries are responding to the call for a net zero emission future. The United Nations has set a target to achieve a net zero future by 2050."


The bankers were taken through a presentation by the National Energy Transition Committee.


The bankers pledged their support to ensuring that they mobilize green and transition funds to help businesses change the way they operate.


Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith


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