Ghana: Energy Commission to create solar power market

The Ghana Energy Commission has unveiled plans to create a market for solar power production in an effort to secure a more efficient energy source as the West African country grapples with a national power crisis.

Accroding to a report by Ghana’s Ministry of Energy & Petroleum (MoEP), the Commission is planning to ask parliament to approve specific incentives, including tax credits, that could prove attractive for solar energy production and purchasing in Ghana.

Energy Commission representatives met last week with industry players, including the Ghana Real Estate Development Association (GREDA), at a stakeholders’ meeting in order to inform the proposal to parliament.

Commission Chairman Kwame Ampofo said that just as there were market regulations that allow banks to offer products such as car loans to clients, parliament could also create regulations that can get financial institutions to have products to finance solar power units. The Commission is initially calling for solar power production on a pilot basis.

Ghana is searching for solutions to deal with recurrent power supply problems. There is now a greater emphasis on gas to generate power after a history of dependence on hydropower.

The Energy Commission said it hoped that solar energy would become a "game changer in Ghana’s limited set of energy options."

Last year Ghana paved the way for the largest single utility-scale solar PV park in Africa after finalizing plans for a 155 MW PV plant at Asiamah in the Western Region of the country.