Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo is advocating increased research into renewable energy solutions to make it affordable for Ghanaians.
Arguing that renewable energy is the way to go in reducing the country’s energy wage bill, the minister was however concerned that the high cost of renewable energy prevented people from patronizing it.
“As a country, I think we must continue to research into the area, particularly how we can source materials to beat down the price so people can consider such energy solutions.”
Mr. Osafo Maafo made the statement when winners of the maiden Senior High School (SHS) Renewable Energy Challenge paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Accra yesterday.
The three-member team from the Ebenezer SHS came tops of the competition with their invention in wind power (wind turbine), among the 29 schools that participated in the challenge.
The Senior Minister used the occasion to reiterate the government’s decision to move all state institutions onto solar power to reduce current energy consumption levels.
“The President has a policy to promote research into renewable energy and encourage the use of it, so we expect that in the shortest possible time, all ministries and government agencies will be run on solar.”
The move, Mr Osafo Maafo added, would also be extended to all public SHS across the country “because for instance, solar can be sufficient for common lighting in the schools, so as a policy, we are going to push for that.”
He did not rule out the role of the private sector in helping achieve the country’s vision of using renewable energy saying, “government will support the private sector to go on renewable to reduce the energy bill because we spend a lot on fuel to produce energy, so if we can reduce it, it will go a long way to help the country.”
Donating an amount of GH₵5,000 to the school in his personal capacity, the Senior Minister appealed for support for students interested in science to advance Ghana’s development.
Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Mr Oscar Amonoo-Neizer, organisers of the competition, expressed the Commission’s resolve to help Ghana attain its 2025 vision of achieving universal access to electricity.
On his part, Headmaster of the Ebenezer SHS, Mr Kofi Mensah appealed to government to help give the school a facelift as it was currently challenged in staff bungalows, laboratories among others to promote effective teaching and learning activities.