At a meeting of Ghanaian MPs, Fakhruddin Azizi and Nurzat Myrsalieva outlined UNIDO’s development programme which aims to reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable industrial development as well as the Ghana Industrial Energy Efficiency Readiness project.
In Ghana, the current energy mix is 63% oil and gas; 37% hydro with 0.3% generated from solar power. Industry uses 26% of electricity and accounts for 20% of GDP and 15% of employment. 80% of manufacturing in Ghana is produced in small businesses that pay relatively high prices for their electricity – between 12-23c/kWh and they face an unreliable power supply. Hydro is intermittent due to unpredictable rainfall. Industrial diesel generators provide 500 MW of electricity. They are polluting and expensive, so their removal from the energy mix is a priority.
Energy efficiency measures would help to make industry more resilient and UNIDO is supporting the government to produce a policy roadmap to support Ghana’s NDC target to double energy efficiency improvement within industrial facilities by 2030. They aim to support 10 industrial companies to champion energy management systems and implement low cost/no cost energy efficiency measures, as well as training local banks to assess energy efficiency technologies and projects.
Dr Sergio Missana, Executive Director of the Climate Parliament, highlighted the resources that Climate Parliament could provide MPs to increase climate ambition which include policy briefs, action ideas, and the soon to be published Map of Green Ambition. Nicholas Dunlop, Climate Parliament’s Secretary General, reminded MP that they can ask team members directly for support if they needed it.
MPs thought that this is a good time to address Ghana’s energy challenges and to make climate change and the transition to renewable energy less of an abstract concept by highlighting the practical benefits such as the creation of local manufacturing jobs and helping the balance of payments. Clean energy needed to be affordable at the national and local level as access to energy was not just about connectivity but price too. The new Climate Parliament group in Ghana would help keep the country at the forefront of the transition to renewable energy by providing good examples from other countries. But MPs also wanted to see bad examples so that they don’t follow those , as Ghana could not afford to go down the wrong path.
Deforestation was a concern for many MPs noting that Ghana has seen a large increase in the loss of forestry in recent years. MPs were concerned that 100 km2 of forest was lost annually. Bridget Menyeh and Simon Bawakyillenuo outlined the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme which aims to eliminate cooking with wood and charcoal. Indoor pollution from cooking with biomass rather than clean electricity is a silent killer which affected women and children in the poorest communities.