Fifty per cent of Ghana’s overall primary source of energy is biomass with wood fuel supply contributing Eight million tons per annum Mrs. Akua Amoa Okyere-Nyako, a consultant and an environmentalist has stated.
She pointed out that Biomass energy can no longer just be considered as the ‘’poor person’s fuel’’ but rather be recognized as an energy source that can provide the modern consumer with convenient, reliable and affordable services.
She made these remarks at a forum with state agencies, CSOs and Community members on renewable energy sources. The Forum was organized by Abantu for development, the Ghana national chapter of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance.
It is estimated that about one billion people in the world still cannot access electricity. Social and economic development largely depends on the availability of reliable electricity. In Sub-Saharan African, only four of 10 people can access electricity. Unless urgent action is taken in Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people who cannot access electricity in the continent may increase from the current 600 million to 654 million by 2030.
According to report, Grid-based electrification is mostly distributed in the urban areas, leaving rural areas without access to electricity. Therefore, mini-grids and stand-alone systems are favorable for the rural populations.
With the adoption of the Paris Agreement and increased commitments to implement it by many countries in Africa, fossil fuel sources continue to attract investment, including coal and natural gas in various countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, with more in the pipeline for financing.
In order to mitigate the climate crisis in Africa, effective and assertive policies need to be developed in accordance to the constitutional governance framework and sustainable development goals while addressing the goal of attaining low carbon climate resilient development by shifting from fossil fuels to decentralized renewable energy systems.
Shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy in Africa will have a positive impact towards climate change, human development and economic development in the region. It will shape Africa towards shaping the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative that is geared towards the implementation of 10GW of new and additional Renewable Energy capacity by 2020 and at least 300GW by 2030.
The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance(PACJA), through its national platform in Ghana is implementing a project in partnership with Christian aid, that targets to ‘’Influence the African Development Bank( AfDB) to shift investments from fossil fuels to sustainable energies and increase its outlay in energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa’.’To achieve this objective, PACJA, through the national platforms, is building a strong network of African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) capable of influencing the delivery of sustainable energy access under the auspices of the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA).
By: Latifa Carlos