The Provost of the College of Engineering (CoE) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Mark Adom-Asamoah, has called on leaders of the country and the university management to adopt the use of solar energy in order to reduce the huge cost of energy consumption.
Professor Adom-Asamoah made the call when the Brew Hammond Energy Centre (TBHEC), a Research Centre of the CoE held the first Series of a Special Seminar for this year on the theme: “Stand Alone Solar Systems in West Africa – Regional off-grid on Electrification Project” (ROGEP).
He stated that the University had spent as much as about Two million Ghana Cedis over the last two years in the payment of electricity bills. He questioned why the entire CoE cannot rely fully on solar energy, as in the case of most developed nations. In his welcome address he asked all stakeholders in the energy sector especially, the Energy Commission to use any section of the University and its surrounding communities for its pilot projects on renewable energy.
“Government pays the huge electricity bills of state institutions. There can only be a “Ghana Beyond Aid” when we create and sustain wealth by ourselves for development” he said.
In his presentation, the Area Coordinator for ROGEP, Kwabena Adom-Opare, stated that the off-grid electricity is of importance to Ghana and the entire West Africa to create a market for solar systems. This is because the West African sub-region has an abundance of sunshine.
He added that the amount of sunshine we have, empower us enough to rely on solar. However, we minimally rely on what is available due to the high cost of financing solar set ups for commercial enterprises. He called for the establishment of a credit facility for private sector solar enterprises to develop the market for off-grid electricity products and services in the project countries. He called for support to provide solar energy to public institutions and community facilities, using standalone solar systems.
ROGEP is an innovation of the World Bank and International Finance Corporation to increase access to sustainable electricity services in the ECOWAS region. This according to experts, will cater for households, industrial production as well as social services, such as public health and educational to health facilities.