Sunday, May 18, 2014

Power of Rising Sun

Germany is the world leader in terms of the total megawatts of electricity produced by using solar technology. A couple of years ago the German government provided an incentive to the citizens to produce electricity from renewable sources in their homes and sell excess units to it or get them adjusted against the bills they received for using conventional electricity.

Called “feed-in tariff”, this concept was introduced to promote the use of cleaner technologies to meet energy needs of the country and also cut on the cost of production and maintenance in the long run. Within two years, 14,000 megawatts of electricity was added to the system. People would switch on the solar systems they had installed before leaving for work or going to schools or colleges. By the time they returned sufficient energy would had been produced and diverted to the grid.

It is interesting to note that this capacity added over a brief period of two years is almost equal to the total energy demand of Ghana. This leads to the question as to why a country like Ghana which is facing a severe energy crisis cannot try a similar option and come out of the dilemma it faces. Are the policy makers sitting on top not wise enough to gauge the potential or is it the powerful lobbies and mafias used to receiving kick-backs who become a hurdle in the launch of such initiatives in Ghana?

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