Absence Of Coordinated Planning Cause Of Energy Crisis – Kweku Awotwe

The Volta River Authority (VRA) has admitted that the current power crisis being experienced in the country is due to the absence of “long term coordinated planning.” Ghana has for over six months been grappling with severe challenges in the energy sector after parts of the West African Gas pipeline was damaged. This halted the supply of gas from Nigeria to Ghana therefore resulting in a load shedding exercise. The situation has adversely affected business and local industries. Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, the Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, Kweku Awotwe explained that stakeholders in the energy sector have failed to have a “long term coordinated planning of the sector. And that involves not just the VRA but ECG [Electricity Company of Ghana], GRIDCO, it involves the regulators.” He noted that the problem “requires the leadership of the Ministry [Energy Ministry].” Mr. Awotwe further mentioned that the stakeholders have over the years failed to address the matter because “the problems we have, have their roots back 20 – 30 years ago” in relation to how the system was managed. The VRA CEO therefore suggested that proposed solutions to solve the current and possible future energy crisis “need to be much more holistic, much more integrated and again much more coordinated.” “An execution of a long term initiative would ensure that we have enough capacity in the system, enough reserve in the system so that in the future, when we do have these kinds of problems, we are protected,” he added. According to him, if the country wants an efficient energy sector, then “we must invest in it. If you don’t invest in it, you will not get it; that is an iron law of investment.”