Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker, I would first and foremost commend the Hon Member who made the Statement and associate with the fact that, at least, basic physics tells us that energy is the ability to do work.
Mr Speaker, in Africa, only 25 per cent of the population has access to electricity. Indeed, if we take the whole of Africa, what we consume is
about 28 gigawatts, comparable to that of Argentina. If we take South Africa out, the State of New York consumes energy more than the entire sub-Saharan Africa. So, it tells us that we have a major hurdle and a major challenge to deal with.
Mr Speaker, however, in Ghana, we have about 83 per cent access to electricity, so renewable energy plays a major component as far as our electricity demand is concerned.
Mr Speaker, indeed, currently, we have 4,399 megawatts of electricity. Hydro constitutes 1,580, thermal plants constitutes 2,796 and renewables, 22.5 megawatts. It depends on how one would look at renewables. If we take hydro energy, it puts Ghana above the 51 megawatts but because most of our hydro plants are above 50 megawatts, it is difficult to classify them as renewables. So, there is a major room for improvement.
Mr Speaker, as has been stated, our objective is to have ten per cent of our generation mix coming from renewable energy. We conducted a research that confirmed that because renewable energy is variable, which means that it could fluctuate, the country could accommodate a total of 150 megawatts of renewable
energy at a time, and that should guide us in terms of our policy making.
Mr Speaker, we have 2.5 mega- watts of solar energy in Navrongo, and a 20 megawatts of solar energy in the Central Region by BSC. So, it tells us that we are balancing it. Also, the renewable energy cannot be located in one location; other than that, we would have a system disturbance. We need to therefore balance it out. So, in advocating for renewable energy, we ought to ensure that it is fairly distributed.
Mr Speaker, if we have 50 mega- watts of solar energy today, within ten minutes, those 50 megawatts could drop to two megawatts depending on sunshine. So, we must balance it out, so that we do not have system disturbance. Renewable energy is not just about solar. We have wind and biomass, but more importantly, a new technology shows that geothermal takes the lead, and that is what Kenya does. Geothermal is simply trapping the heat in the crust of the earth and taking advantage of that. I believe these are some of the areas that we ought to look at, and ought to focus on.
Mr Speaker, as a country, we have made some progress. We have passed the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541). Subsequently, we