By Chris Twum .
According to energy experts, nuclear power offers a better alternative and affordable power to revamp Ghana’s industrial sector. Their argument is based on the fact that nuclear power gives low per capita electricity consumption in kilowatt hour (KWh,) which stands at 355 KWh.
Meanwhile, since the emergence of oil and gas in the Ghanaian economy, which should have helped to reduce the cost of power, the industrial sector has witnessed higher payments of electricity tariffs in the country.
The Deputy Director of Nuclear and Alternative Energy at the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Robert Bright Mawuko Sogbadji, made these observations in Accra at a Boot Camp organised by Rosatom Central and South Africa.
According to him: “Ghana’s inability to industrialise has been attributed to the high cost of electricity, and this requires cheap sources of electricity, such as nuclear power, to address the situation.” The high cost of electricity is said to have made Ghana less attractive to investors, who opt for neighbouring countries with cheaper tariffs. The economy of every country depends on local production and export of goods and services.
Dr. Robert Bright Mawuko Sogbadji noted that focus on cheap sources of electricity, especially nuclear energy, is what would spearhead industrialisation. To buttress this point, he said countries in Europe utilising nuclear energy, pay far less for electricity, as compared to those without nuclear power.
According to him, the residential tariff for electricity in Ghana is higher than that of Egypt, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Kenya Tanzania among others. This development, he noted, makes it expedient to consider nuclear power to boost our industrialisation drive.
First nuclear power plant ready 2029
According to him, the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the country is expected to take off in 2023, while the commissioning and operation is slated for 2029. “The aim for opting for the nuclear option is that it helps to deepen the diversification of the present generation mix, reduce the national greenhouse emissions, reduce detrimental environmental impact, as well as reliable and cost-effective power.
“The energy policies also geared towards Ghana’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the National Determine Contributions Renewable and Nuclear Energy (the clean energy sources of the future), is expected to enhance Ghana’s energy security and to serve as mitigation against climate change,” he added.
Dr. Sogbadji noted that nuclear power’s economic and environmental advantages, as well as the availability of nuclear waste management technologies, make it a needed base-load addition to the country’s existing power generation mix.
He explained that the timely implementation of this policy would go a long way to fulfill the country’s quest to provide secure, reliable and clean energy for sustainable national development, and also achieve the vision of being a net exporter of electricity in the sub-region.
He said all governments have identified key areas for industrial growth, and notably among them, are; bauxite alumina aluminum industry, iron ore industry, trans-regional railway network, and processing of all raw materials into finished products, among others.