Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Energy Minister, says, government is intensifying efforts to make Ghana’s electricity access rate reach 90 per cent by 2024 from the current 88.85 per cent.
That, he said was to ensure that: “As we spread energy everywhere, we increase productivity and people prosper,” the Minister said at a press briefing in Accra.
He said the target was in line with the country’s quest to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Seven – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
He said the country’s annual electricity demand increased of 10 per cent had made government come up with initiatives in the energy mix – hydro, thermal, and solar, while addressing challenges in the sector.
To that end, the government has signed two new Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) to add about 720 Mega Watts (MW) of power to the country’s generation capacity.
The agreement with AKSA Energy Company Limited includes a 370MW thermal plant in Tema and another 350MW thermal plant in Kumasi to stabilise and enhance power reliability across the country, while encouraging export.
There is an ongoing utility scale solar projects with 100MW solar Photovoltaic (PV) under construction at Bui, while a four Mega Watt floating Solar PV on the Bui Reservoir has been completed.
Dr Prempeh also stated that government was addressing the challenges of congestion of networks, over-age infrastructure and encroachment on right of ways, to support the achievement of the 90 per cent electricity access rate.
“We are improving things to ensure power generated is transmitted efficiently to all parts of the country,” he said.
He expressed concern about Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) high technical, commercial and collection losses, cautioning that, “You [ECG] will soon lose the moral right to ask Ghanaians to pay more.”
As of September 2023, the power retailer (ECG) had incurred technical losses of GH¢1,279,369,021.42, commercial losses of GH¢2,758,872,791.21, and collection losses of GH¢2,050,373,143.47.
“Nobody understands these losses, because no matter what you are doing, and how much you collect, you are losing it through these losses. It is becoming a sticky point, and we must find a way of dealing with it,” he said.
To mitigate the losses, Dr Prempeh stated that his Ministry was collaborating with ECG on transformative efforts such as the digitalisation of the Company’s processes.
That comes as nearly 70 per cent of electricity consumers now pay their bills through the ECG app, which, together with the use of more modern metres, has resulted in an average monthly revenue of GH¢745 million for the Company.
In its April 2023 Africa Pulse report, the World Bank ranked Ghana first in electricity access rate in Sub-Saharan Africa, predicting that the oil-rich country would reach full electricity access by 2030.