Ghana poised to tap alternative sources of energy – panelist

Discussants at the 6th West African Clean Energy and Environment Exhibition and Conference (WACEE ’17) have drawn the attention of the nation to the need to diversify energy sources for rapid development.

Speaking on ensuring sustainable power to boost economic growth, the speakers at the three-day conference, November 7 – 9, 2017, in Accra dwelt on whether coal or nuclear power would be an answer in supplementing the hydro power that continues to dwindle because of the low level of water in the Akosombo dam.

The panelists which include Dr. Robert Sogadji, a policy analyst on nuclear energy efficiency gave the example of several developed nations that use nuclear power as cheap source of energy and opined that it reduces the cost of power generation and hardly causes disaster except in a few past cases.

He said with electricity cost in Ghana being so high even compared to other African countries nuclear power is a favorable option.

A programme on nuclear power will start next year (2018) led by the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC).

Another contributor to the discussion, Nana Osei-Bonsu, Chief Executive Officer of Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) said solar energy would be a better option as compared to nuclear energy or coal whose operations ring about health problems, with the sunshine in Ghana all-year round, the tapping of solar energy appears to be the best choice for industries. If power is cheap, industries can flourish and economic activity will be enhanced. He suggested a combination of wind, human waste and solar alternatives or options.

Professor Benjamin Jabez B. Nyarko, Director of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, (GAEC), said power of the sun is nuclear fusion. “We are trying to have energy mix,” he said. Ghana is relying on hydro power but no developed nation thrives on only one source of energy.

The Energy, Economy and the Environment go together. Nuclear power is a good source of energy. Prof Nyarko gave the example of the Emir of Dubai who is currently building four nuclear energy plants.

Mr. Philip Acquah, an independent energy and environment expert gave a good dose excellent research and said energy import is not a better option, oil, water and nuclear and gas have their limitations. Charcoal should be made a renewable energy source in the energy supply chain.

Global gas demand is high and only one source of energy is no longer sustainable, nuclear energy is also increasing as well as coal but nuclear power usage will slow down coal emissions.

Dr. Eric Twum, a policy fellow has therefore pointed out that the use of several energy sources are a worldwide phenomenon and Ghana should consider the nuclear and coal options as additional sources to hydro power as in other parts of the globe.

The clean energy and environment exhibition has been one of the best organized this year showcased machines of various uses.

Energy plants, environmentally safe solar, thermal and wind energy machines are on display by companies from the Netherlands, Germany, The United States of America (USA), Britain (UK), the relevant energy commissions and ministries from Ghana, industrial companies and consultancies, among others are taking part in the conferences and exhibition.

Source: John Kumado || ghananewsonline.com.gh

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