The New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) vision for the energy sector is to develop a modern, diversified, efficient and financially sustainable “Energy Economy” that will ensure that all Ghanaian homes and industries have access to adequate, reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable supply of energy to meet their needs and to support the accelerated growth and development agenda for the country.
The NPP also plans to ensure that the procurement of new power projects are executed primarily through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and Independent Power Producer (IPP) arrangements, which will be carried out in a transparent and competitive manner in order to achieve a least-cost addition of power generation infrastructure.
Ending costly and inefficient alternatives
The current basis for procuring additional generation assets, the NPP says, is inefficient and costly and discourages production and for which matter it would develop and implement an energy sector financial restructuring and recovery plan, incorporating a liquidity management mechanism for VRA, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Northern Electricity Department (NED) and the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs), leverage natural gas as a long-term source central to the operation of the power sector.
Consequently, the NPP will develop and implement a long-term LNG utilisation programme.
In addition, the NPP will encourage and provide incentives to the private sector to develop aggressively, potential sources of indigenous natural gas in addition to those from the Jubilee, TEN and SANKOFA oil/gas fields and ensure that there is sufficient reserve margin as a safety cushion.
The NPP also considers the need to prevent blackouts in order to ensure the stability of the system and rapidly move to the adoption of a distributed solar energy solution for all government and public buildings.
The NPP says it will also create an environment of clear policies, rules and regulations, and provide adequate price incentives to attract private sector investments.
Enhancing the capacity of public bodies
“The NPP will prioritise and ensure actions to enhance and improve the capacity of the regulatory bodies, namely the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and Energy Commission (EC) to discharge their responsibilities in a more transparent, timely and efficient manner,” the NPP posits.
The objective, according to the party, would be to ensure that costs in the sector are recovered in a timely manner and that the utilities receive a fair return on their investments and consumers pay only for acceptable and efficient operation of the utilities.
The party would also aggressively pursue energy conservation and the efficient use of energy, including the reduction of transmission losses.
“In 2007, the NPP government led a nationwide free distribution of 6 million compact fluorescent bulbs to consumers to replace incandescent bulbs, which led to the saving of about 200MW. We will implement similar initiatives involving LED bulbs and the introduction of Minimum Energy Performance Standards for electric motors and industrial equipment, ensure that energy is produced and used in an environmentally sound manner. In particular, the Renewable Energy law will be reviewed to regulate and incentivise investments in renewable technologies, restructure the power sector by bringing all hydro generation exclusively under VRA and create a separate thermal market, and explore the possibility of geothermal and tidal wave energy,” the NPP manifesto said.
Renewable Energy Development
The NPP is of the view that Ghana should develop low carbon energy to ensure environmental sustainability and energy security through a diversity of energy sources and the creation of green jobs.
“In this direction, the NPP will increase the proportion of renewable energy in the national generation mix by harnessing alternative energy options to ensure the expansion of low carbon energy in our economy, rapidly move to the adoption of a distributed solar energy solution for all government and public buildings to reduce demand on the national grid and reduce government expenditure on electricity,and build solar parks in the northern part of the country,” the manifesto stated.