SHS Solar Program to Cost $420m – Seth Mahu
It would cost government more than $420 million to roll out solar power generation in all second cycle schools across the country. This amount, however, would not include subsequent maintenance of the equipment.
The Deputy Director of Renewable Energy at the Ministry of Energy, Seth Mahu who disclosed this to Starr Business indicated that government is looking for “a more sustainable funding mechanism” to be able to roll out this program.
“We have counted more than 500 secondary schools already in Ghana from the Ministry of Education’s database. On the average if we are to give each of these secondary schools 100 KW of solar, we’ll need approximately $420 million. This will be the initial investment; however, you’ll have to change certain components over time,” he said.
Mr. Mahu who spoke to Starr Business’ Tawkalitu Braimah during the just ended 3RD Renewable Energy Fair in Accra, said running such a program involves a lot of cost which government or the institutions will not be able to bear without a sustainable funding source. “We have done some pilot project at the University of Ghana where we have close to one megawatt of solar system there. But I must be honest with you; it’s quite expensive managing that infrastructure. The university itself does not have enough liquidity to manage it effectively, neither does government. So we need to make sure that we don’t find ourselves in that problem,” he added.
Government has a target to have renewable energy constituting 10 percent of the country’s generation mix by 2020. There’s also a plan to have government institutions supplementing their energy source with solar generated power.
Presently, less than 1% of electricity consumed locally is from renewable energy sources, a statistic player in the industry find worrying.
Parliament last month ratified the framework Agreement on the Establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). This means Ghana will be joining some 121 countries to access $2 billion from the Indian government towards making renewable energy a reliable alternative to the more expensive sources of energy on the continent.
With this ratification, government hopes to expedite the integration of renewable energy in the sources for electricity among its institutions and agencies, including Junior and Senior High Schools.