The Energy Commission, in collaboration with other stakeholder institutions, has established a national energy database with the view to opening up energy access in the country to enhance policy making and national development planning.
The baseline database contains energy access data on solar-powered facilities, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and GRIDCo-connected communities, lighting and cooking sources and fuel retail outlets across the country.
Hosted on the website of the commission at http://www.energycom.gov.gh, the database will greatly enhance the interests of investors, researchers, students and the business community, according to its managers.
The Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Dr A. K. Ofosu Ahenkorah, stressed the need to constantly update the database.
“We must keep the database as current as possible. The Energy Commission will make resources available for the update of database,’ he said in Accra last Tuesday at a meeting of a taskforce that worked on the database project.
In May 2013, the Energy Commission established the National Energy Access Data Task Force to develop a comprehensive energy database for national decision making.
The initiative was in ; fulfilment of its mandate under Section 2(2Xd) of the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541).
The taskforce has representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development,
National Petroleum Authority (NPA), (ECG), Ghana Statistical Service, the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services, the Energy Commission and The Energy Centre (TEC) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the project consultants.
It was co-sponsored by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) on the theme ‘Building a reliable Energy’access database for sustainable energy expansion in Ghana’.
With the REEEP-sponsored project ending this month, the challenge for the taskforce now is how to sustain the database to aid national planning and development.
Dr Ahenkorah expressed gratitude to the REEEP for co-sponsoring the project and members of the taskforce for their commitment to making the project successful.
He said the task ahead was to maintain the database ‘because if you have a 10-year- old data, you cannot plan with it; so we need to constantly update the database’.
A member of the taskforce and lecturer at the KNUST,Ms Gifty Serwaa Mensah, said the objective of the taskforce was to establish a network to facilitate the collection of data for energy use.
She expressed the hope that Ghanaians would be happy with the work done by the taskforce, and added that the way forward was to ensure the sustainability of the project;
Another member of the taskforce and lecturer at the KNUST, Mr Francis Kemausuor, said energy data was important to measure access to energy and plan for the future.
He said a trend analysis from energy policies and plans developed by past and present governments indicated that Ghana was likely to achieve its target of energy-for-all communities with a population of at least 500 by 2020.
He, however, noted that the country might achieve a 100-per cent energy access for households by 2025.
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